Polk County Sheriff’s Office Participates In Minnesota Winter Hazard Awareness Week
The weather has been getting colder, and although it hasn’t snowed drastically yet, we all know too well that winter is coming. That’s why the Polk County Sheriff’s Office partnered with Minnesota Department of Public Safety Division of Homeland Security and Emergency Management in collaboration with the National Weather Service to bring awareness and inform the public of the winter season and how to plan for it.
“We’ve been putting out public service announcements on just information on what happens in the winter, and the weather and the dangers and some things to look out for,” Sergeant Investigator Nathan Rasch said.
That information includes things like dressing appropriately for the winter weather and staying warm to the dangers from heating sources and ventilation issues that can occur indoors.
Rasch says the most common indoor safety concern that occurs during the winter are monitoring carbon monoxide levels. He says it’s important to have a couple of carbon monoxide detectors around the home.
“We’re running heaters, furnaces, a lot of them are gas or propane. So, carbon monoxide detectors are very important because that’s the only way to know if there’s carbon monoxide leak in your home. So, we recommend getting those installed,” Rasch said.
As for the outdoors, Rasch says it’s critical to stay warm as frostbite and hypothermia can occur when exposed to cold weather. He says gloves, face masks, scarves and layering clothes is key to stay dry. Rasch says people should consider the dangers of thin ice.
“We always recommend not to trust ice without testing it first,” Rasch said. “Ice can be deceiving, what good ice looks like, it looks clear, not slushy or snowy. It looks solid and clear.”
Another major winter hazard is driving. Rasch says that drivers need to slow down and to be cautious about other drivers on the road.
“We just want people to start thinking about because winter is right around the corner. We’re going to get snow and we’re going to get ice and we want people to be educated and talk about it,” added Rasch.
Rasch says he hopes people take the information as a way to prepare their mind and refresh their winter safety habits.
For more information about winter safety and how you can better prepare for the season, check out the Homeland Security and Emergency Management website.