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Winter Hazard Awareness Week in Minnesota

Winter Awareness Week activities are also going on in Wisconsin. More information can be found from the  Wisconsin Emergency Management and the National Weather Service in Sullivan, WI.

November 10th through the 14th is Winter Hazard Awareness Week in Minnesota. Each year the National Weather Service and the Minnesota Division of Homeland Security and Emergency Management promote winter safety and individual preparedness for all citizens wherever they are: in their homes, on the road, at work, and at play. Unfortunately, many people each year suffer needlessly because they are unaware of the potential dangers of the winter season.

Minnesota Snowfall during the winter of 2012-2013

Average Annual Snowfall across Minnesota

Snowfall totals for Minnesota during the winter of 2013-2014

Average annual snowfall across Minnesota

During Winter Hazard Awareness Week the National Weather Service, in cooperation with the Department of Homeland Security and Emergency Management will issue daily statements pertaining to winter safety. These statements are available below, and will also be broadcast over NOAA All Hazards Weather Radio and sent over the NOAA Weather Wire.

In summary, we offer these basic reminders:

Winter Weather Preparations

  • Keep ahead of the winter storm by listening for the latest weather statements, watches and warnings.
  • Your vehicle should also be ready. Get it winterized, before the onset of winter weather.
  • Be equipped for the worst. Carry a winter survival kit in your car, especially when traveling in rural or open areas. Try to travel with others.

When Driving

  • Yield to snowplows, and give them plenty of room to operate.
  • If your vehicle becomes stranded, stay with it until help arrives.
  • Do not try to walk for help during a blizzard, you could easily become lost in the whiteout conditions.

Outdoor Activities

  • If you will be outside during storms or extreme cold, dress in layered clothing and avoid overexertion.
  • Do not kill yourself shoveling snow. Shoveling is very hard work and may induce a heart attack.
  • If you will be snowmobiling, avoid alcohol. Most snowmobile deaths are alcohol related. Take a snowmobile course offered by the DNR or check with your snowmobile dealer.
  • Every year, there are fatalities in Minnesota when people fall through thin ice.

Home Safety

  • Heating fires are a major cause of residential fires in Minnesota. Turn off portable heating devices when you are away from home or retire for the evening. Have your fireplace and chimney professionally inspected before winter.
  • Carbon Monoxide is most likely to accumulate inside homes during winter. Check your heating systems and ensure your home has proper ventilation. Install a UL listed Carbon Monoxide detector that sounds an alarm.

In addition to these brief reminders, daily statements will be issued November 4th through the 8th. They will provide more detailed information pertaining to winter safety. The following is a list of the daily topics for our Winter Hazard Awareness Campaign:

Monday, November 10 - Winter Storms

Tuesday, November 11 - Outdoor Winter Safety

Wednesday, November 12 - Winter Fire Safety

Thursday, November 13 - Indoor Winter Safety

Friday, November 14 - Winter Driving

Winter Hazard Awareness Week Is coordinated by the Minnesota Department of Homeland Security and Emergency Management. It is sponsored by nine different organizations across Minnesota, including the National Weather Service. For additional information, contact the Division of Homeland Security and Emergency Management at (651) 201-7400.

National Winter Weather Awareness Page

Minnesota Winter Hazard Awareness Info, from Minnesota Homeland Security and Emergency Management

Wisconsin Emergency Management


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