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Public safety contest seeks winter photos

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news Alexandria, 56308
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Whether this winter is mild or miserable, the Minnesota Department of Public Safety (DPS) Division of Homeland Security and Emergency Management (HSEM) wants to make sure Minnesotans are prepared for both outdoor and indoor hazards.

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HSEM sponsors the annual photo contest "What's Your Winter?" as part of their effort to provide Minnesotans with the information they need to prepare for winter.

Amateur photographers, adult and youth, are encouraged to take high-quality digital photos of winter nature scenes, holiday gatherings, outdoor sports and kids enjoying winter.

The contest will run December 1 to March 1, 2013. Prizes, which promote winter safety, will be given away in each category at the end of the contest.

The HSEM website, hsem.dps.mn.gov contains information on the following winter hazard awareness topics:

• Winter storms and weather.

• Outdoor winter safety.

• Winter fire safety.

• Indoor winter safety.

• Winter driving.

Minnesotans must remember to assemble a winter weather survival kit. It should include a blanket, hat, boots, gloves, flashlight, snacks, matches, a tin cup to melt snow for drinking water and a bright ribbon to tie on the vehicle's antenna to alert authorities help is needed.

Staying safe indoors is also important during the winter months. One of the hazards is radon, the second-leading cause of lung cancer in the U.S. The DPS and the Minnesota Health Department partnered to produce an instructional video that shows step-by-step how to test a home for radon.

"We are all busy, but it is very important to take the time to prepare for winter," said HSEM director Kris Eide. "We hope the What's Your Winter? photo contest encourages families to prepare for and safely enjoy winter."

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