State warns against dangerous temperatures
The National Weather Service says strong winds and plummeting temperatures will make for a bitterly cold combination this Sunday, Monday and Tuesday.
These are expected to be the coldest days of the winter so far with highs only in the single digits and dangerously low wind chills. Wisconsin Emergency Management's Ready Wisconsin campaign is urging families to take appropriate measures against the arctic chill.
The best defense against the extreme temperatures is to stay indoors. When people go outside, they should dress in multiple layers of clothing, as well as a tightly woven winter coat, scarf, hat and gloves.
In temperatures this severe, frostbite can occur on exposed skin in fewer than 30 minutes. Anyone who notices a loss of feeling and a white or pale appearance in fingers, toes, ears or the tip of the nose should seek medical help immediately.
Hypothermia, a deadly condition, occurs when a person's body temperature drops below 95 degrees Fahrenheit. Warning signs of hypothermia include uncontrollable shivering, disorientation, slurred speech and drowsiness, and the condition requires medical attention.
Experts say people should pace themselves during strenuous activities such as shoveling snow or pushing a car; working otherwise can bring on a heart attack or worsen an existing condition.
Emergency Management advises people to keep a winter-survival kit in each vehicle, including water, snack foods like energy bars, a flashlight with extra batteries and a cell phone charger.
Don't forget the pets
Pets need special attention during extreme cold. Limit pets' exposure to the cold temperatures, and wipe off dogs' legs and stomach when coming inside from a walk and watch for paws that pay bleed from snow or encrusted ice
Clean a pet's feet after walks, since dogs can digest salt, antifreeze or other potentially dangerous chemicals while licking their paws.
Click here to link to the ReadyWisconsin web site: http://readywisconsin.wi.gov.