UNITED STATES – JANUARY 6: In this satellite handout image provided by National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA), shows the entry of a large area of low pressure, from the Polar Vortex, into the Northern U.S. January 6, 2014. The weather system is bringing dangerously cold temperatures not seen in half of the continental United States in about 20 years. It is expected to move northward back over Canada toward the end of the week. (Photo by NOAA via Getty Images)
The Department of Military Affairs is sounding the alarm about extreme cold conditions which are due to persist into the early part of Saturday. The National Weather Service is warning of arctic air which may cause temperatures to plummet into the double digits below zero in some areas.
A wind chill of negative 20 degrees Fahrenheit presents a danger of frostbite after just 30 minutes of exposure. It’s recommended that people limit their time outdoors and wear loose-fitting layers and a hat, snow boots and a scarf, though tight around the ankles, wrist, and neck. It may also be important to familiarize yourself with the symptoms of hypothermia including excessive shivering, exhaustion, confusion, and slurred speech.
Home supplies and emergency kits are also important, including food and batteries. Make sure your home is heated but avoid using gasoline, propane or a grill to heat your living space or garage. Such devices can produce carbon monoxide which is deadly in enclosed areas. Make sure that water pipes are secured, and that your vehicle is prepared for the weather with gas and extra emergency supplies including blankets and flashlights.
Unhoused individuals are urged to seek the nearest warming shelter until conditions improve. You can learn about those locations by dialing 2-1-1 or (877) 947-2211. Updates and safety tips will also be provided on the ReadyWisconsin Facebook page and other social media.
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