ST. CLOUD-- To help minimize the risks of winter, Stearns County has teamed up with the Minnesota Department of Public Safety and the National Weather Service for Winter Hazard Awareness Week.

Each day this week we will be bringing you useful tips and information to help you get through the winter months safely.

Monday’s topic is winter storms. Stearns County Emergency Management Director Erin Hausauer says there are some important terms to know when it comes to following storm alerts.

...things like an Outlook, meaning that within the next 2-5 days we could see storm activity, the reminder that a Watch means we're looking for favorable conditions to develop, that Warning [means] that we are going to see snow activity within the next 24-48 hours, and then an Advisory. Sometimes people get frustrated because we see snow during an Advisory and it wasn't a Warning. It's simply because we haven't met the threshold of a Warning.

The county also urges that you stay informed of storm activity and recommends signing up for weather notifications.