Officials say don’t wait until it’s too late; prepare in advance of the winter emergency. Tod Pritchard, emergency preparedness coordinator at Wisconsin Emergency Management, says you never know when you will be in a crash, get stuck in the ditch, or have some mechanical problems. “Our number one goal is to get everyone in the state to get a winter emergency kit in their car.”
Wisconsin Emergency Management and the National Weather Service are reminding people about winter driving, frozen lakes, and avoiding carbon monoxide leaks. It’s also a good idea to have a weather radio and know the jargon. A watch means the potential exists for the development of severe weather. A warning means severe weather is occurring or is imminent.
Pritchard says an emergency kit with the basics can sustain your life until help arrives, including a blanket, water, protein snacks, and a shovel. He says you never know when you — and your would-be rescuers — will be stranded, such as in the Groundhog Day blizzard earlier this year. “You never know when you might have to be in your car for several hours either before help can get to you or you can get to where you’re going.”
Motorists should have at least a half a tank of gas at all times. Pritchard says there are about 60 deaths each winter on the roads, 20,000 crashes, and 6,000 injuries.
Call 511 anytime to get information on road conditions before hitting the highway, or visit 511wi.gov. A total snow accumulation of 5 to 9 inches is possible in some areas north of Wausau.
This week (November 7th-11th) is Winter Awareness Week. NASCAR champion and Cambridge-native Matt Kenseth is teaming up with ReadyWisconsin to raise awareness. For more information on preparedness and emergency kids, visit ReadyWisconsin.wi.gov
AUDIO: Jackie Johnson report 1:42
Other things to keep in your car:
-windshield scraper and small broom
-flashlight with extra batteries
-battery powered radio
-snack food including energy bars, raisins and mini candy bars
-matches and small candles
-extra hats, socks and mittens
-First aid kit with pocket knife
-blankets or sleeping bag
-tow chain or rope
-road salt, sand, or cat litter for traction
-booster cables, emergency flares and reflectors
-fluorescent distress flag and whistle to attract attention