COLD WEATHER (WINTER STORM)
Various steps and precautions can be taken to ensure your safety and health during a winter storm.
- Listen to the radio or television for weather reports and emergency information.
- Dress for the season. Wear several layers of loose fitting, light weight, warm clothing rather than one layer of heavy clothing. The outer garments should be tightly woven and water repellant. Mittens are warmer than gloves. Wear a hat. Most body heat is lost through the top of the head. Cover your mouth with a scarf to protect your lungs from the cold air.
- Be careful when shoveling snow. Over exertion can bring on a heart attack, a major cause of death in the winter. If you must shovel snow, do some stretch exercises before going out and don't over exert yourself. Push the snow, don't lift it. Stop and take breaks often, and avoid dehydration by drinking nonalcoholic and no-caffeine beverages during breaks.
- Watch for signs of frostbite; a loss of feeling and a white or pale appearance in extremities such as fingers, toes, earlobes, or the tip of the nose. If symptoms are detected, get medical help immediately.
- Watch for signs of hypothermia: uncontrollable shivering, memory loss, disorientation, incoherence, slurred speech, drowsiness, and apparent exhaustion. If symptoms of hypothermia are detected, get medical help immediately.
- In anticipation of a winter storm and possible power loss, check battery-powered equipment such as a portable radio or television. Have a flashlight and extra batteries in a location where you can find them easily, even in the dark. Keep a supply of drinking water, food which doesn?t require cooking or refrigeration, and a non-electric can opener available also.
Preparing Your Car for Winter
Making sure your vehicle is in good operating condition in the winter season can keep you and your family safer while traveling during winter. Some of the items in your car to be checked include:
- Tire Tread
- Windshield Wipers and Washer Fluid
- Heater and Defroster
- Winter Oil
- Exhaust System
During the winter season, remember to:
- Maintain a half tank of gasoline.
- Plan long trips carefully. Try not to travel alone. If you must travel alone, notify someone else of your route and your estimated departure and arival times.
- Call the State Highway Patrol at 1-800-762-3947 for Wisconsin Road Conditions.
- Assemble a winter storm car kit. Minimum items should include:
- window scraper
- jumper cables
- shovel and small bag of sand or kitty litter
- first aid kit
- Additional items for a long trip could include:
- extra warm clothing
- high energy non-perishable food
- signal flares
- basic repair tools
- a distress flag
- facial tissue or paper towels
- matches and candles
Call the State Highway Patrol at 1-800-762-3947 for Wisconsin Road Conditions or consult http://www.dot.wisconsin.gov/travel/driving-cond.htm
Wind Chill Chart
For further information on winter storms and severe weather, please see the following:
Red Cross Ready for Winter Storm Safety