Focus on winter weather Nov. 4-8
Star Journal staff
With the memory of the 2018-19 winter still somewhat fresh, it is time to begin preparing for a new winter season. To put the focus on what to expect, Gov. Tony Evers has declared this week Winter Awareness Week.
“The extreme cold felt across Wisconsin earlier this year is a reminder of just how dangerous winter can be,” said Maj. Gen. Don Dunbar, Wisconsin’s adjutant general and homeland security advisor. “Take time during Winter Awareness Week to make sure your emergency kits are fully supplied, have your furnace serviced and get your vehicle check out to make sure it’s ready for winter road conditions.”
Winter emergency kits should include food, water, a flashlight and batteries and blankets. Have a snow shovel, extra gloves and hats, and kitty litter or sand for added traction in your vehicle.
According to the National Weather Service, Wisconsin experiences and average of 3-6 winter storms per season. Last winter the town of Saxon in Iron County received the highest seasonal snowfall total in the state, at 208.3 inches of snow. The coldest temperature recorded during the 2018-19 winter season was -49 degrees Fahrenheit in Butternut on Feb. 1, 2019.
The Wisconsin Department of Transportation reports an average of 46 deaths and nearly 4,200 injuries incurred each year in crashes on icy or snow-covered roads in the state. An average of 18,000 vehicle crashes in Wisconsin are caused by poor winter driving conditions.
Drivers should check current road conditions before heading out when bad winter weather is in the forecast. If driving is not necessary, stay home, said Dr. Darrell Williams, state emergency management administrator. “If that’s not an option, carry an emergency kit in your vehicle, drive slow and let people know where you are going and what time you expect to arrive,” he added.
Travel conditions on major roadways can be check by using 511 Wisconsin, which offers a free mobile app, @511WI on Twitter and a mobile-friendly website, www.511wi.gov. More tips on getting ready for winter can be found at www.readywisconsin.wi.gov.