Deputy Executive Jeff Flynt
(Brown County, Wis.) – In preparation for extreme wind-chills expected on Wednesday of this week, and in order to protect employees and the public, Brown County is declaring a weather emergency. Wind chills are expected to reach -40 to -55 degrees, and frost bite can occur in as little as 5 minutes on exposed skin at these temperatures. Emergency services has recommended the County close non-essential services for the protection of the public, while providing first responders and plow drivers the ability to safely perform their duties and not put others at risk. The public is strongly recommended to stay indoors on Wednesday. Brown County critical service departments (Sheriff, 911, Highway, Medical Services/CTC, Emergency Services, Airport, etc.) will remain open, however non-critical departments (Register of Deeds, County Clerk, Clerk of Courts, Courthouse, Treasurer, Museum, etc.) will be closed.
The Wisconsin Department of Health Services recommends the following safety tips to protect yourself, your family and your pets during extreme cold:
- Stay inside. When possible, stay indoors.
- Stock a home emergency kit. Your home kit should include items such as food and water, cell phone and charger, flashlight and batteries, first aid kit, important medications, a weather radio, and a change of clothes. Visit readywisconsin.wi.gov/make-a-kit for more items and tips.
- Dress in layers. If you must venture out, dress in several loose-fitting layers. Wear a hat, mittens, and snow boots. Use a scarf to cover your mouth and face.
- Winterize your car. Just as you have a home emergency kit, you need one for your car too. Pack items such as blankets, snacks and water, a shovel, jumper cables, and sand. Visit readywisconsin.wi.gov/make-a-kit for more items and tips. Keep your gas tank at least half-full.
- Check on your friends, family, and neighbors. The elderly, babies in cold bedrooms, people who spend lots of time outside (e.g., the homeless, hunters), and people who drink alcohol or use drugs are more likely to be harmed from the cold.
- Make sure you have working carbon monoxide detectors. All homes and duplexes in Wisconsin are required to have properly working detectors on every level, including the basement, but not the attic or storage areas. Detectors can be purchased at most hardware stores for $20-50.
- Never run a gasoline or propane heater or a grill (gas or charcoal) inside your home or garage. Any heating system that burns fuel produces carbon monoxide. Use a battery-powered detector where you have fuel burning devices but no electric outlets, such as in tents, cabins, and RVs.
- Run generators at a safe distance (at least 20 feet) from the home. Never run a generator in the home or garage, or right next to windows or doors.
- Limit outdoor time for pets. Extreme cold is dangerous for animals too.
- Know the signs and symptoms of hypothermia. Warning signs include shivering, exhaustion, confusion, and slurred speech, and symptoms can look like intoxication. Call 911 if someone is exposed to cold temperatures and you see these symptoms.
Visit the Wisconsin Department of Health Services website for more information about staying safe during extreme cold.