Brief

Wisconsinites urged to brace for arctic cold

By: - January 7, 2022 6:57 am
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)

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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Isiah Holmes
Isiah Holmes

Isiah Holmes is a journalist and videographer, and a lifelong resident of Milwaukee, Wisconsin. Holmes' video work dates back to his high school days at Wauwatosa East High, when he made a documentary about the local police department. Since then, his writing has been featured in Urban Milwaukee, Isthmus, Milwaukee Stories, Milwaukee Neighborhood News Services, Pontiac Tribune, the Progressive Magazine, Al Jazeera, and other outlets. He was also featured in the 2018 documentary The Chase Key, and was the recipient of the Sierra Club Great Waters Group 2021 Environmental Hero of the Year award. The Wisconsin Freedom of Information Council also awarded Holmes its 2021-2022 Media Openness Award for using the open records laws for investigative journalism. Holmes was also a finalist in the 2021 Milwaukee Press Club Excellence in Journalism Awards alongside the rest of the Wisconsin Examiner's staff. The Silver, or second place, award for Best Online Coverage of News was awarded to Holmes and his colleague Henry Redman for an investigative series into how police responded to the civil unrest and protests in Kenosha during 2020. Holmes was also awarded the Press Club's Silver (second-place) award for Public Service Journalism for articles focusing on police surveillance in Wisconsin.

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