Question:  

I just heard about “Winter Hazard Awareness Week.” Can you talk about that?

Answer: 

Great topic as we are at that point and time of year. Here is some information we shared on the Minnesota Department of Safety’s blog.

“It seems our pleasant fall has come to an end as Minnesota officially welcomed the first real wave of winter weather. It’s tempting to forget about winter’s cold bite, isn’t it? But we know what’s coming ... even if our first snowfall and colder temperatures came a little later this year.

The fact is, winter weather can freeze out a lot of our plans if we aren’t adequately prepared. From holiday travel, to participating in seasonal sports, Winter Hazard Awareness Week reminds us of important safety tips to get us through the coming months.

For example, if you’re one of the many Minnesotans who doesn’t bat an eye at driving in winter weather, take a moment to congratulate yourself-then complete your Winter Safety Checklist. It starts with winterizing your vehicle to minimize your chances of breaking down when it’s cold and snowy out.

Travel throughout Minnesota can be significantly impacted any time there is snow and wind, so it’s important to be ready. Do you have a winter survival kit in your car? Creating a kit won’t take much time and could make all the difference for you and your family. Always look at weather predictions before you leave. If your phone doesn’t have a built-in weather app, here’s a list of weather alerts or emergency preparedness and warning apps you can sign up for.

Before you even leave your driveway, make sure to check road conditions. If authorities have issued no-travel advisories, then delay your drive. Next, be sure to tell someone where you’re going and notify them when you arrive safely. If you don’t report when you’re supposed to, you’ll be easier to find on the way. And if you have to wait for help in your car, make sure you know what to do-and what not to.

Your phone becomes indispensable during winter outings (but please don’t surf or text on it while driving). Do you know what information to give a 911 operator if you’re in an unfamiliar area? Snowplows will soon be a common sight on Minnesota roads, and it’s critically important to stay safe around them. Among other things, it’s important to stay back at least five car lengths to allow for a snowplow’s slow speed and the additional stopping distance needed for wet or icy conditions.

You may be sad to say goodbye to fall, but remember that winter is more enjoyable when you’re safe and sound.”

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