MEDIA RELEASE

From the Buffalo County Office of Emergency Management

Recent and continued frigid weather across Buffalo County and Western Wisconsin can put citizens at risk for freezing weather emergencies - health, home and travel related. Wiscon Emergency Management’s Ready Wisconsin provides “Surviving Winter” tips and safety recommendations.  Being prepared at home for power outages and lack of access to food or water due to road closures, and taking fire prevention actions are key to in-home survival.

Ready Wisconsin also reminds residents to use caution when using alternative heating sources, such as space heaters or anything with an open flame. Keep flammable items away from heating equipment, and never leave a space heater on when you leave a room or go to sleep. Overloaded extension cords are fire hazards as well. NEVER operate a propane space heater, or use charcoal to heat the indoors, as deadly carbon monoxide poisoning is highly likely to occur!

Many house fires are caused when pipes freeze, and residents attempt to thaw them using a propane torch.  If you experience frozen pipes, call a licensed plumber for assistance.

During a winter storm, the best course of action is to stay home. If you must venture out into a storm, try and take more heavily-traveled routes if possible, as highway crews treat those roadways first. Make sure you keep a Winter Emergency Kit in your vehicle. A sample it can be seen at the Ready Wisconsin website.  Hypothermia is also a real threat. It is recommended that you stay with your vehicle if you become stalled or stuck. Dress warmly using layers, so you are prepared if you must venture out into the cold for any reason.  “Know before you go” by using the 511 Wisconsin Traveler System.  There is also a free 511 Wisconsin Smartphone app available at www.511wi.gov, and you can follow 511 on Twitter at @511WI.

 For information visit the Ready Wisconsin winter weather facts website at http://readywisconsin.wi.gov/winter/winter_weather_facts.asp).

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