WINTER HAZARD AWARENESS WEEK
November 16, 2021
The week of November 15th -19th, 2021 is Minnesota Winter Hazard Awareness Week and the Beltrami County Sheriff's Office Division of Emergency Management is participating and promoting the daily hazard topics. Listed below are the daily topics and highlights. Additional information will be posted daily on the Beltrami County Emergency Management Facebook page, available here:
Monday, November 15th: Winter Storms and Weather. Minnesota is no stranger to harsh winter weather in the form of brutally cold temperatures and heavy snows. Winter weather warnings and alerts come from the National Weather Service and can be accessed via web applications and NOAA Weather Radio. The following terminology are used for winter weather: Outlooks – winter storm conditions are possible in the next 2-5 days; Watch – winter storm conditions are possible in the next 36-48 hours; Warning – severe winter conditions have begun or will begin within 24 hours; Advisory – impactful winter weather conditions are expected.
Tuesday, November 16th: Outdoor Winter Safety. Every year Minnesota experiences the freezing of bodies of water that early in the season can be dangerous for those wanting to get a start on ice recreation. Remember that ice is never 100% safe and a minimum of 4 inches of new clear ice is recommended for people to walk on ice, increasing to 12-15 inches for pickups. Dress accordingly to the temperature. Frostbite and hypothermia can have long lasting injuries and even result in death.
Wednesday, November 17th: Winter Fire Safety. In the winter months, heating, lighting, cooking and holiday activities increase dramatically, subsequently so do the risk of residential fires. Never use alternative heating sources such as grills or gas powered ovens. Keep combustible materials away from heat sources and open flames. Safely use decorative candles and do not overload your electrical outlets with holiday lights. Always watch the stove when cooking.
Thursday, November 18th: Indoor Winter Safety. Carbon Monoxide (CO) is often called the invisible, odorless and tasteless killer. CO poisoning can be identified by headaches, nausea, fatigue, vomiting and disorientation. Install CO Detectors in bedrooms or within 10 feet of each sleeping room. Other hazards to be aware of are radon and mold. Radon gas is odorless and colorless naturally occurring from the soil. Mold can be a result of moisture conditions indoors as a result of increased humidity due to lack of ventilation.
Friday, November 19th: Winter Driving. Snowplows are big, have bright blinking lights, generally drive slower than other traffic and involved in crashes every year with other motorists. Give plows room to clear the roads and know their visibility is reduced as a result of blowing snow. Travel with a winter survival kit and let others know your itinerary and travel plans. Consult 511mn.org for road conditions or dial 511, do not call 911 to ask how the roads are. Have your vehicle properly maintained and appropriate tires. Do not drive faster than conditions permit.