Winter Weather Dangers

Important safety tips
for the days ahead

MADISON – 2013 is going out with an arctic blast as bitter cold temperatures
will cover the Badger State in the days ahead. Here’s the latest information
on weather conditions and tips to keep you and your family safe.

Bitter temperatures –
air will move in creating dangerously cold wind chills. Temperatures
will fall into the single digits today in Northwest Wisconsin and the rest of
the state tomorrow. Bitterly cold overnight wind chill readings of 20 to 35
below zero should be widespread across the state from Sunday evening into the
morning hours on Tuesday. The rest of the week will also be below normal for

the road –
If you are traveling
make sure you have a winter emergency kit in your vehicle. Items to include in
the kit are candles and matches, a flashlight, pocket knife, snacks, a cell
phone adapter, a blanket and extra clothing. For a complete list go to

Health Risks –
With wind chills of
-20 to -35, there is an increased risk of frostbite and hypothermia. If you must
venture outdoors, make sure you wear a hat and gloves. Frostbite can happen in
less than 30 minutes of exposure to those conditions. Symptoms include a loss of
feeling and a white or pale appearance in fingers, toes, ear tips and tip of the
nose. Limit your time outside. If you see these signs, seek medical care

is also a danger in these conditions. That is when your body temperature drops
below 95˚F. Warning signs include uncontrollable
shivering, disorientation, slurred speech and drowsiness. Again, limit your
outdoor activity and seek medical care if you detect these

Carbon Monoxide
Danger –
Carbon monoxide is
the leading cause of accidental poisoning deaths in the United States, according
to the Centers for Disease Control. More than 20,000 people visit the emergency
room and nearly 500 are killed each year from carbon monoxide poisoning.

Make sure
you have working CO detectors. All homes and
duplexes in Wisconsin are required to have CO detectors on every level including
the basement, but not the attic or storage areas.
Have your furnace or
wood-burning stove inspected annually to make sure it is
structurally and functionally sound and vents properly to the outside of your

Never run a gasoline
or propane heater or a grill (gas or charcoal) inside your home or an
unventilated garage.
Any heating system that burns fuel will produce carbon monoxide.
Use a battery-powered detector where you have fuel burning devices but no
electric outlets, such as in tents, cabins, RVs, and boats with enclosed
Never run a car in an
enclosed space.
If a vehicle is running, you must have a door open to the
Generators should be
run a safe distance from the home. Never run a
generator in the home or garage, or right next to windows or doors.

carbon monoxide displaces the oxygen in the blood and can cause death within
minutes at high levels. Symptoms of overexposure to carbon monoxide are often
mistaken for the flu and include headaches, fatigue, dizziness, shortness of
breath/chest pain, nausea/vomiting, and confusion. If you experience any of
these symptoms, or your carbon monoxide detector sounds an alarm, head outside
immediately for fresh air and call 911.

Pet care
While our pets might
seem to have built-in, warm winter coats, they too are sensitive to the
elements. It is recommended to bring them indoors during this bitter weather.
Dogs and cats can get frost bitten ears, nose and feet if left outside during
bitter cold weather. Chemicals used to melt snow and ice can also irritate pets’
paws – be sure to keep anti-freeze, salt and other poisons away from

For additional safety
tips, visit You can also check
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