Are You Ready for Winter?
Time to get your home and car ready for cold and snow
(MADISON) - It is time to face the inescapable truth, winter is coming to Wisconsin. We all need to brush up on our winter driving skills and cold weather preparedness.
Governor Scott Walker has declared November 5-9, 2018 as Wisconsin's Winter Awareness Week. The annual campaign, sponsored by Wisconsin Emergency Management (WEM), Wisconsin Department of Transportation (WisDOT), and the National Weather Service (NWS), reminds us now is the time to get ready before the snow and cold hit.
"Make sure you have an emergency supply kit in your car - it could save your life," says Major General Don Dunbar, Adjutant General and Wisconsin's Homeland Security Advisor. "If you slide off into a ditch and are stranded during a storm, food and other items in your kit could help keep you and your family safe until emergency help arrives."
The emergency vehicle kit should contain items such as flashlight, first aid kit, booster cables, emergency flares, water and snack food along with extra gloves, hats, scarves and blankets. In addition, make sure you have a shovel and a bag of sand or kitty litter to help provide traction if you get stuck.
Every winter in Wisconsin, officials say approximately 50 people are killed and more than 4,900 are injured in crashes on icy or snow-covered roads. Many of those crashes are caused by driving too fast in winter conditions.
"The posted speed limit is based on dry pavement and good driving conditions. But the posted limit may be too fast for conditions when a road is snow covered and slippery," says David Pabst, director of the WisDOT Bureau of Transportation Safety. "During severe winter storms, the safest decision is to not drive until conditions improve. Law enforcement officers frequently respond to vehicles in the ditch and chain-reaction crashes when motorists should not have attempted to travel. Slowed or stalled traffic on slippery roads also delays tow trucks and snowplows, which are trying to get roads cleared, as well as emergency responders."
In addition to getting your vehicles winterized and putting together an emergency vehicle supply kit, now is also good time to get your home ready for the cold months ahead. Put together an emergency preparedness kit for your home that contains a three-day supply of non-perishable food and water in case there is no power during a winter storm. Also make sure your flashlights have new batteries and you have a NOAA Weather Radio to receive any emergency alerts.