September 20, 2014

Emergency officials prepare for strong winter storm

Snow in Wisconsin’s Capital City (File photo: Jackie Johnson)

Now is the time for everyone to prepare — before the storm arrives.

Tod Pritchard with Wisconsin Emergency Management says individuals need to be ready, because if we’re in the middle of a snowstorm, first responders could be “up to their eyeballs” with a whole lot of other problems and won’t be able to help right away. “They’re gonna have so many other issues of road conditions and emergency crisis situations that they are responding to, they’re not gonna be able to get to you. So, absolutely, you need to be self-reliant for the 24 hours or so that we go through this snow storm.”

It’s important to make sure you have everything you need to take care of yourself and your family. Pritchard recommends car emergency kits. And that includes just having some extra water, food, a blanket, you know, maybe a shovel. Those kinds of things that can help you survive a storm, if you get stuck in your car, until help arrives.”

And at the house, emergency supplies should include food, extra water, first aid kit, flashlight, batteries, and specialty items such as medication or baby needs.

Pritchard says, “Listen, Act, and Live.” That means listen to what’s going on, take action to prepare, and then you’ll live through the storm.

Travelers should really think about their plans; it will be very difficult, if not impossible, to travel in many parts of the state on Thursday. Motorists who must drive, keep gas tanks at least half full and let friends and family know where and when you’re traveling.

The National Weather Service is predicting snowfall reaching almost 12 inches from Grant County in southwestern Wisconsin going northeast to Door County. The storm is expected to start Wednesday night lasting through Thursday. Wisconsin Emergency Management will keep the public informed on their website, facebook page, and twitter. Also, check 511 for the latest road conditions online or via telephone.

AUDIO: Jackie Johnson report 1:36