Be “Ready Wisconsin” for days of extreme cold

According to the Wisconsin Department of Health Services, last year alone, extreme cold killed 83 Wisconsinites. 

LA CROSSE, Wis. (WKBT)- Cold weather shouldn’t be taken lightly. According to the Wisconsin Department of Health Services, last year alone extreme cold killed 83 Wisconsinites. 

Ready Wisconsin, the state’s preparedness group, is urging people to stay inside if you can. If you can’t, make sure you’re dressed for the cold in loose fitting layers. 

If you’re traveling, keep an emergency kit in your car and, Ready Wisconsin spokesman Andrew Beckett says bring cold weather gear with you just in case. “You can find yourself in a dangerous situation very easily. You need to make sure when you leave home, you’re prepared for whatever you might encounter between your home and your final destination” 

Cold weather safety applies inside your home too. Fire calls go up during the winter. Heating sources are the 2nd leading cause of all house fires. The culprit often times is a space heater. Never plug a space heater into a power strip or extension cord. Firefighters say they can’t handle the current a space heater requires and can over heat and start on fire. You have to plug a space heater directly into an outlet. And; beware of where you buy your space heater. La Crosse Fire Fighter Pat Corran says cheaper is not typically safer. “Often times buying safety products on Amazon, if feel it cheaper and can save you a little bit of money, but it hasn’t been vetted by independent testing laboratory.” Look for the UL symbol on the box or cord. It means the space heated has been tested and meets safety standards. Corran says it’s always a good idea to make sure your smoke and carbon monoxide alarms are working.

Finally; even through your pet has a fur coat extreme cold is still dangerous. They can get frostbite on their ears or paws quickly. Humane Officers ask that you bring pets indoors. If you can’t, make sure they have an insulated shelter that can block the wind, and bedding and water that won’t freeze. If you’re concerned about an animal, Monroe Co. Humane Officer Amber Dvorak says don’t be afraid to give them a call. “if you don’t know that what you are seeing is appropriate just give us a call. We will go check it out, and if it’s not we will take appropriate action right away to make sure that dog is safe.” Dvorak says can remain anonymous.