A recent report says it was Mother Nature who threw a significant storm; but government agencies could have responded better.
Wisconsin Army National Guard Brigadier General Don Dunbar blames the Wisconsin State Patrol for being slow to recognize that an emergency existed on the Interstate, and says its leadership was ineffective. However, Pam Moen with Triple-A Wisconsin says the rest of us can also learn from the disaster.
"Pay attention to the weather forecast and if authorities are advising people not to drive, it is really important that motorists take that seriously and stay put."
On February 6th over 2,000 cars were trapped in blizzard-like conditions on I-90/39 near Madison, some for more than 12 hours. We later learned from 911 calls that many people were cold, tired, hungry, thirsty and out of gasoline.
"It's so important to have those emergency supplies and kits with you in the car; to have a little water and a little food and some basic comfort items as well as emergency items so that if, in fact, you get stranded for a period of time you've got some things to, at the very least, make you more comfortable and in an extreme condition could actually save your life."
Moen says in this day and age, with instant gratification and new technology, it's easy for us to think we're invincible. She says the Interstate blunder showed us it's important to be prepared, even for short, local trips, because you never know how long you'll be stranded before you get help.