State of emergency declaration doesn’t impact storm preps

Trempealeau County officials prepare in advance for winter weather

Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker declared a state of emergency, but that doesn’t impact how Trempealeau County officials prepare in advance for a winter storm.

Snowplows and salt trucks are on standby in Trempealeau County as residents could see up to a foot of snow overnight Thursday, but officials said they are prepared thanks to planning ahead of time.

Lt. Dan Schreiner with Emergency Management in Trempealeau County said preparation isn’t just something you do overnight.

“Preparation isn’t something that occurs for the moment, it’s something that occurs all the time,” said Schreiner.

Schreiner said you have to have a plan.

“We practice these kind of things whether its tabletop exercises, in late fall or early spring we gear up and make sure your equipment is in good working order.  You make sure you have the resources at hand that you may need over the next several months,” said Schreider.

“We always have our trucks ready and men ready. Check the trucks out to make sure mechanically they’re working and have them loaded and ready to go when the guys jump in them,” said Wayne Lien, highway superintendent for Trempealeau County.

Lien said salt is not an issue.

“We had like, over 1,500 tons hauled in here a week ago and so we are in good shape for the rest of the season,” said Lien.

If the storm is severe enough, Walker can declare a state of emergency, but Schriener said it doesn’t change much in terms of preparation on a county level.

“It just puts certain aspects of the state on higher alert,” said Schreiner. “For example, there are teams with the National Guard that are ready to respond if needed.”

A state of emergency is also declared to make sure residents are on high alert and take necessary precautions, such as limiting your travel plans and putting an emergency winter weather survival kit in your vehicle.

Click here for a list of counties under a winter storm warning or winter weather advisory.