This week is Winter Weather Hazard Awareness Week in Minnesota -- the perfect time to refresh your memory, perform pre-winter safety checks, and create winter weather survival plans with your family. Here are some great suggestions from the National Weather Service.

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.
Enter your number to get our free mobile app

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.

Average Minnesota Annual Snowfall (1981-2010)

National Weather Service

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.

Be safe & celebrate another winter in Minnesota!

Pete Hanson is on 98.1 Minnesota's New Country weekday mornings from 5:30 to 10:00.