Bitter cold temperatures and snow in the forecast could result in dangerous conditions across much of Wisconsin in the coming days.
The National Weather Service is predicting highs only in the single digits across much of the state through later this week, while low temperatures could fall to around 15 below zero. Wind chill readings could drop down to between -20 and -35 between Tuesday and Thursday mornings. Portions of southern Wisconsin are also under a Winter Weather Advisory, which could bring up to five inches of snow to the region during the overnight hours.
State emergency management officials are urging all residents to take steps to protect themselves from the dangerous cold. If you have to venture outdoors, be sure to cover exposed skin and wear warm clothing suited to the cold. Frostbite can take hold in less than 30 minutes, so watch for symptoms that can include a loss of feeling to parts of your body, and skin taking on a white or pale appearance. Hypothermia is also a real possibility if you spend an extended period of time outdoors, so watch for uncontrollable shivering, disorientation, slurred speech and drowsiness.
If temperatures inside your home dip down, never use a gasoline or propane heater inside to warm things up. Also make sure you have working Carbon Monoxide detectors, which can help prevent the leading cause of accidental poisoning deaths in the United States.
For areas receiving snow, check with the state’s 511 service before heading out on the roads. Also, make sure vehicles are stocked with emergency supply kits, which should include extra food, warm clothing, and other supplies.