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Severe cold weather talking points from ReadyWisconsin – Updated 01-25-19
Widespread snow is expected across the southern two thirds of the state Sunday night through Monday. Over 6 inches are possible across the southern half of Wisconsin. Areas from Door County to Kenosha could see higher totals, due to lake effect snow. There is still some uncertainty with the track of this storm and we will have a better idea of snowfall totals later this weekend.
After the snow, dangerous and potential record cold sets in mid-week for the entire state. Beginning Tuesday, low temperatures will range from -20℉ to -30℉, combined with wind chills of -40℉. These bitter cold temperatures will continue into Thursday. The Superior area could see wind chills near -50℉.
To help protect yourself, your family, and your property, consider taking the following steps:
- Limit your time outdoors. If you must be outside, dress for the weather. Wear loose-fitting layers, a hat, gloves and snow boots. Make sure you have a scarf or some other way to cover your face.
- Know the signs of hypothermia, which include excessive shivering, exhaustion, confusion, and slurred speech. If you or anyone around you begins to show symptoms, call 911 immediately.
- Know the signs of frostbite, which include a white or grayish-yellow skin area, skin that feels unusually firm or waxy, and numbness. If you detect symptoms, get to a warm area. Do not try to rub them, as it can cause more damage.
- Check the supplies in your home and vehicle emergency kits. If food items or batteries have expired or run low, replace them.
- Test the smoke and carbon monoxide detectors around your home. If you can’t remember the last time you changed the batteries, go ahead and replace them.
- Check your furnace to make sure it is working properly. If you rely on heating oil or propane, make sure you have enough to last through the current period of cold temperatures and schedule a delivery before you start to run low.
- Do not attempt to use gasoline or propane heaters or a grill to heat your home or garage. Those devices produce carbon monoxide, which could be deadly in enclosed areas.
- Prepare your vehicle for the possible effects of the cold weather. Keep the gas tank at least half-full. Pack an emergency kit with items such as food, water, extra blankets and warm clothing, booster cables, and a cell phone charger.
- Make sure water pipes in unheated areas are properly insulated. If you have faucets served by exposed pipes, let water drip from them or run at a slow trickle to prevent freezing. Open kitchen and bathroom cabinets to allow heat to get to the pipes.
- If you have pets, limit their time outdoors. Dogs and cats can get frost-bitten ears, nose and feet if left outside during bitter cold weather. For livestock, make sure they have access to extra food and a water source that will not freeze over. Outdoor animals need access to a dry place to seek shelter. Help provide a windbreak for larger animals and an enclosed space for smaller animals to help them retain their body heat.
Additional tips on dealing with extreme cold and making an emergency kit are available at http://readywisconsin.wi.gov