Winter Hazards

February 18, 2008
J. McLellan 267-2542
mclellan@co.dane.wi.us
Emergency Management

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE 2/18/08 Issuing Department: Emergency Management For more information contact: J. McLellan, Dept. of Emergency Management 608/267-2542 Winter Hazards Reference #021808-#1 Available at: www.co.dane.wi.us Winter Weather Aftermath poses threat to Personal Safety Motorist and pedestrian visibility has been greatly reduced by the growing piles of snow in Dane County. Winter weather conditions pose many threats to personal safety. Please take the following steps for individual and community safety: · Approach and proceed through intersections with extreme caution! Piles of snow greatly reduce the ability to see crossing vehicles and pedestrians, especially young school aged children. · Clearing snow from automobiles, including all windows and signal indicators, improves driver’s visibility and allows others to see your break lights and turn signals. · SLOW DOWN!! Be alert to children playing outdoors on snow banks – BE PREPARED TO STOP! · Keep walkways clear of ice and snow to prevent falls and injuries · Take the time to help your local fire department and avert potential flooding conditions by clearing snow from fire hydrants and storm drains. · Be aware of their own and loved one’s outside activities in cold weather. The combination of cold weather and heavy physical exertion can severely tax the human body, such as when shoveling. Persons should be aware of their level of physical exertion. Take breaks at regular intervals. · Check on neighbors, either by telephone or face-to-face. Persons are potentially more vulnerable in the winter. Make sure they are okay. · Dressing in “layers” provides the best method of retaining warmth while allowing individuals to easily regulate their body temperature. Place an extra set of gloves or mittens, a warm stocking cap and a blanket in the car or back pack. · Know how to detect and identify frostbite and hypothermia. o Frostbite is the local cooling of an area of the body which usually starts with exposed tissues. Frostbite most often affects areas of the body exposed to the greatest cold including ears, nose, hands and feet. o Hypothermia is the general cooling of the body through heat loss reducing the body’s core temperature. Signs and symptoms include shivering, feelings of numbness, drowsiness, and slower breathing and pulse rates. Hypothermia is a serious condition that should be treated by emergency medical service professionals. · Have a household emergency plan so household members know what to do, where to go, and/or who to call incase of an emergency. (http://www.countyofdane.com/ems/) Predominantly Wisconsin residents know how to deal with winter weather. Dane County Emergency Management is encouraging people to use their common sense in cold weather and to plan for the unexpected. Having the right resources available to deal with unexpected situations will make persons safer. Take the time to be personally prepared. ###