Wisconsin advocates winter preparednessThe Wisconsin Department of Emergency Management advises people during Winter Weather Awareness Week Nov. 7-11 to be aware of and prepared for winter’s dangers. WDEM suggests stocking each family vehicle with a winter survival kit containing these items:
The Wisconsin Department of Emergency Management advises people during Winter Weather Awareness Week Nov. 7-11 to be aware of and prepared for winter’s dangers.
WDEM suggests stocking each family vehicle with a winter survival kit containing these items:
- Windshield scraper and small broom
- Flashlight and extra batteries
- Battery-powered radio
- Non-perishable high-energy like protein bars, raisins, mini candy bars
- Matches and several small candles
- Extra socks, hats and mittens
- First-aid kit including essential medications
- Blankets or sleeping bag
- Two chain or rope
- Road salt, sand, or cat litter for traction
- Jumper cables
- Emergency flares and reflectors
- Flourescent distress flag and whistle to make noise
- Mobile cell phone charger.
- Keep the vehicle’s gas tank at least half full
- Tell someone the destination and route planned to get there
- If stuck, conserve battery by turning on a dome light or tying a fluorescent flag to the antennae. Turn on emergency flashers only when other vehicles are approaching
- Make sure at least one person stays awake at all times
- Stay in the vehicle because it is a good shelter; walking in a bad storm can be dangerous and exhausting
- Avoid overexertion such as too much pushing or shoveling; clothing that becomes sweaty can also lead hypothermia.
- Take in fresh air because being cold and awake is better than being warm and sleepy; snow can also plug a vehicle’s exhaust pipe, leading to possible carbon monoxide poisoning.
Authorities advise people to reverse the batteries in flashlights and radios to prevent them from accidentally switching on and burning out. Store items within the car compartment in case the trunk lid is jammed or frozen shut.
People stranded in winter weather should call 911 on their cell phones, give their location, follow instructions and stay on the phone until they know who they’re talking to and what will happen next.
If a motorist must leave their car, they should slide a note inside the front windshield listing their name, address and destination.
Emergency preparedness lessons also include survival tips to avoid extreme situations.
Winter storms are considered deceptive killers because most deaths are indirectly related to the storm. Examples of such deaths include traffic accidents on icy or snow-covered roads, prolonged exposure to the cold and indoor carbon monoxide poisoning.
It is important to start taking preventive measures for winter weather. Now is the time to winterize cars and home and gather items for a vehicle emergency preparedness kit.
Tod Pritchard, Emergency Preparedness Coordinator at Wisconsin DEM, says, “The number one thing to do: make sure you have an emergency supply kit in your car – it could save your life.”
Get more emergency preparedness tips at the Ready Wisconsin Web site: www.readywisconsin.gov