And now … bitter cold

February 2, 2013 by  
Filed under Wind Energy Tips

    The snow is over, and the cold is closing in. Wednesday storms dropped about 6-10 inches of snow over much of southern Wisconsin, according to Wisconsin Emergency Management.

    The National Weather Service says bitterly cold weather will settle in for the next couple of days. A wind chill advisory began Thursday and will remain in effect through noon today, with the forecast calling for highs from 1 to 6 degrees below zero and expected wind chill values between minus 25 and 35. The forecast calls for lows tonight from minus 15 to 17 with wind chills values down to minus 25.

    The best defense against extreme temperatures is to stay indoors, according to Wisconsin Emergency Management. If you must head outside, bundle up with multiple layers of clothing. In addition to wearing a tightly woven winter coat, a scarf, hat and mittens will go a long way toward keeping you safe against the elements. In temperatures this severe, frostbite can occur on exposed skin in as little as 10 minutes, so adding those extra layers of protection is your best defense against the wind and cold. If you notice a loss of feeling and a white or pale appearance in your fingers, toes, ears or the tip of your nose, you may need to seek medical help right away.

    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. Seek medical care immediately if you experience any of these symptoms.

    Cold weather also puts an added strain on your body. Activities like shoveling snow or pushing a car can bring on a heart attack or worsen an existing condition.

    Speaking of cars, make sure you have a winter survival kit in your vehicle just in case you are stranded in your vehicle and need that kit to survive. That kit should include water, snack foods like energy bars, a flashlight with extra batteries and a cell phone charger.

    Lastly, remember that pets need special attention during this cold spell. Limit your pet’s exposure to the cold temperatures, and wipe off your dog’s legs and stomach when coming inside from a walk. Pay attention to your dog’s paws as they may bleed from snow or encrusted ice. Be sure to clean their feet when they return to the house, as dogs can digest salt, antifreeze or other potentially dangerous chemicals while licking their paws.

    For additional winter safety tips, visit http://ReadyWisconsin.wi.gov or follow ReadyWisconsin on Facebook, www.facebook.com/ReadyWisconsin and Twitter, www.twitter.com/ReadyWisconsin.

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