July 28, 2014

Arctic chill headed our way

Emergency officials are sounding the alarm: An arctic chill is headed our way.

We are Wisconsinites. We’re used to the cold weather. But Tod Pritchard of Wisconsin Emergency Management says it’s been a while since we’ve experienced extreme bitter cold temperatures and dangerous wind chills. “When you get into this kind of wind chill, you know, kind of danger zone … as hardy as we are in Wisconsin, we’re just not that equipped to handle the cold.”

The National Weather Service says wind chills are expected to get down to 25-30 degrees below zero, even lower in some parts of the state, with air temperatures struggling just to reach zero.

Pritchard says you can’t be too prepared. This is the worst time possible to get stranded in the elements. “Having that emergency kit in your car with some extra blankets, food, and water” is a great idea.

Your best defense against the extreme temperatures is to stay indoors, but if you must head outside, remember to bundle up in layers.

Being prepared really could save your life. In temperatures this severe, frostbite can occur on exposed skin in fewer than 30 minutes. Also, hypothermia sets in when a person’s body temperature drops below 95 degrees Fahrenheit. Activities like shoveling snow or pushing a car can bring on a heart attack or worsen an existing condition.

The bitter temps will begin to arrive on Sunday and the cold really kicks-in on Monday and Tuesday.

AUDIO: Jackie Johnson report 1:45

On the web: Ready Wisconsin