Ready or not, Winter Awareness Week starts tomorrowThe Minnesota Department of Public Safety Division of Homeland Security and Emergency Management (HSEM), along with the National Weather Service and other agencies, sponsors Winter Hazard Awareness Week November 7–11 — a time to make sure your winter is both safe and enjoyable.
The Minnesota Department of Public Safety Division of Homeland Security and Emergency Management (HSEM), along with the National Weather Service and other agencies, sponsors Winter Hazard Awareness Week November 7–11 — a time to make sure your winter is both safe and enjoyable.
In November, no one has to tell Minnesotans about the snow, ice and threatening temperatures that will soon arrive. We’re famous for our challenging winters. But are we ready? The HSEM website has a brand new look and the Winter Hazard Awareness section has five categories of life-saving information, including indoor air, outdoor activity, driving safety, fire safety and understanding winter weather warnings.
“Preparing for winter doesn’t take a lot of time, but it can make the difference between suffering and survival,” says Kris Eide, HSEM director. She provides this example of an easy winter-ready tip: Start by gathering up a hat, a blanket, boots, snacks and other items for a car survival kit and keeping it within reach. You never know when you’ll need it.
Winter roads are dangerous, and public safety officials say they often come upon stranded victims of a fender-bender who aren’t prepared to spend even one hour in a freezing car. In 2010, more than 18,000 drivers were involved in crashes on icy or snowy roads.
“Staying warm outdoors, staying fire-safe indoors and staying on top of upcoming weather patterns requires planning and awareness,” Eide says. “The dangers are real, but simple solutions exist; we just have to know what they are.”
This year, the annual “What’s Your Winter?” photo contest appears on Facebook at facebook.com/MnHSEM. The increasingly popular contest, now in its third year, runs from November through March, inviting adults and youth to submit digital photos of the ways they safely enjoy winter in Minnesota. Contest rules and a list of prizes are on the website hsem.dps.mn.gov.