Cold weather warning for the days ahead

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MADISON, Wis. (READY WISCONSIN NEWS RELEASE) -- Wisconsin needs to be ready for a dangerous blast of arctic air that will
be moving into the state Sunday night and hovering over through Tuesday. The system
will drop temperatures and wind chills to levels not seen since 1996, causing potentially
life threatening conditions.

The Departments of Agriculture, Trade and Consumer Protection (DATCP), Health
Services (DHS) and ReadyWisconsin are teaming up to warn people about the
upcoming bitter weather and precautions you and your family should take.

Forecast – The National Weather Service says cold air will begin pouring into Wisconsin
Saturday night and into Sunday. The coldest stretch will be Sunday night through
Tuesday. Meteorologists are predicting lows Sunday night of -10 to -25 with wind chills
at -30 to -40. Monday, highs will reach only -5 to -15 with wind chills remaining in the -30
to -40 danger zone.
Health Risks – With these bitter temperatures, beware of hypothermia and frostbite.
Frostbite can occur on exposed skin in less than 10 minutes. Symptoms include
a loss of feeling and a white or pale appearance in fingers, toes, ear tips and tip of the
nose. Limit your time outside. If you see these signs, seek medical care immediately!
Signs of hypothermia include shivering, exhaustion, confusion, fumbling hands,
memory loss, slurred speech and drowsiness in adults and children. In infants,
symptoms can include bright red or cold skin and very low energy. If you notice anyone
exhibiting any of the symptoms of hypothermia, seek medical care immediately!
Carbon Monoxide Danger - Carbon monoxide is the leading cause of accidental
poisoning deaths in the United States. Breathing carbon monoxide displaces the oxygen
in the blood and can cause death within minutes at high levels. Symptoms of
overexposure to carbon monoxide are often mistaken for the flu and include headaches,
fatigue, dizziness, shortness of breath/chest pain, nausea/vomiting, and confusion. If you
or someone you know experience any of these symptoms, or your carbon monoxide
detector sounds an alarm, head outside immediately for fresh air and call 911.
“No doubt furnaces, fireplaces, wood stoves, and other home heating devices will be
working overtime during these extremely cold temperatures and that can increase the
risk for carbon monoxide poisoning,” said Karen McKeown, State Health Officer.
Never run a gasoline or propane heater or a grill (gas or charcoal) inside your home or
an unventilated garage. Any heating system that burns fuel will produce carbon
monoxide. Never run a car in an enclosed space. If a vehicle is running, you must have
a door open to the outside. Generators should be run a safe distance from the home.
Never run a generator in the home or garage, or right next to windows or doors. Make
sure you have a working carbon monoxide detector.
Pet Precautions - While our pets might seem to have built-in, warm winter coats, they
too are sensitive to the elements. It is recommended to bring them indoors during this
bitter weather. Dogs and cats can get frost bitten ears, nose and feet if left outside
during bitter cold weather. Chemicals used to melt snow and ice can also irritate pets'
paws - be sure to keep anti-freeze, salt and other poisons away from pets.
Cats sometimes crawl under cars and into the engine compartment, seeking shelter and
warmth. Bang on the hood before starting the car on cold days to startle sleeping
animals. And remember, just as cars heat to oven temperature in summer, they can be
equally deadly in winter when they turn into freezers. Don’t leave your pet alone in a
vehicle. It may freeze to death.
Livestock Precautions - Animals can suffer from hypothermia, frostbite and other cold
weather injuries. Harsh conditions weaken their immune systems and open the door to
illness. Calves and swine are especially susceptible to cold. Make sure animals have a
place to get out of the wind, even if it is just a windbreak or a three-sided shelter. Also
provide dry bedding to protect them from frostbite. Animals also burn extra calories to
keep warm in severe cold. They also need access to fresh water – not frozen streams or
snow. Stock tank heaters and frost-proof watering devices will ensure that livestock get
enough to drink.
“Livestock owners need to provide extra nutrition, plenty of good bedding, and protection
from winds and moisture,” says state humane veterinarian Dr. Yvonne Bellay. “Calves
often have undetected pneumonia that kills quickly when the temperature drops. Be
particularly careful with animals that have recently been brought here from a warmer
climate or that have been indoors and are now outdoors. If they’re not acclimated, they’ll
suffer more winter illness.”
On the road - If you are traveling make sure you have a winter emergency kit in your
vehicle. Items to include in the kit are candles and matches, a flashlight, pocket knife,
snacks, a cell phone adapter, a blanket and extra clothing. Also check with 511WI for
road conditions.

Day Shelter - Positive Avenues
320 Putnam Street
Eau Claire, WI 54703
Contact: Susan Howe
(715) 835-3816

Shelter options in Eau Claire:

Sojourner House - Eau Claire
Eau Claire, WI 54703
(715) 514-5556
Homeless Shelter, Catholic Charities.

Ruth House Women's Shelter and Rehab
Eau Claire, WI 54703
Single women's emergency shelter and long term rehab services.

Bolton Refuge House Domestic Violence Shelter
Eau Claire, WI
Domestic violence shelter, emergency shelter, transitional housing, advocacy, children's services

Western Dairyland Community Action Emergency Transitional Housing
Eau Claire, WI 54703
Emergency Homeless Shelter, Transitional Housing

Salvation Army Eau Claire Emergency Hotel Vouchers
Eau Claire, WI 54701
715-834-1224 Emergency Hotel Vouchers for Homeless

Knight House Transitional House
Eau Claire, WI 54703
Transitional Housing, Non Profit Organization, Halfway House for women

Hope Gospel Mission - Men's Shelter (for Men)
Eau Claire, WI 54701

Hope Gospel Mission - Ruth House (for Women)
Eau Claire, WI 54703

Beacon House Eau Claire Interfaith Hospitality Network
Eau Claire, WI 54702
Eau Claire Interfaith Hospitality Network facility offers 30 days for homeless families with children, and pregnant single women.
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