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The Rock County Health Department on Friday issued a warning about impending low temperatures over the next few days.

The statement warned that low temperatures and wind chills can lead to hypothermia, frostbite and even death.

Thirty-eight Wisconsinites died from exposure to extreme cold during the 2017-18 winter season, according to the statement, which recommends people stay indoors when possible and also:

  • Stock a home emergency kit, including items such as food, water, cellphones and chargers, flashlights, batteries, a first aid kit, important medications, a weather radio, and a change of clothes. More tips are offered at
  • readywisconsin.wi.gov/make-a-kit
  • .
  • Dress in layers and include a hat, mittens and snow boots. Use a scarf to cover your mouth and face.
  • Winterize your car with blankets, snacks, water, a shovel, jumper cables and sand. Keep your gas tank at least half full.
  • Check on friends, family and neighbors. The cold is more likely to harm the elderly, babies in cold bedrooms, people who spend lots of time outside such as the homeless and hunters, and people who use alcohol or drugs.
  • 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 to $50.
  • Never run a gasoline or propane heater or light a grill inside your home or garage. Any heating system that burns fuel produces carbon monoxide. Use a battery-powered detector when electrical outlets are not available, such as in tents, cabins and RVs.
  • Run generators at least 20 feet from the home. Never run a generator in the home or garage or next to windows or doors.
  • Limit outdoor time for pets.
  • Know the signs and symptoms of hypothermia, including shivering, exhaustion, confusion and slurred speech. Symptoms can look similar to intoxication. Call 911 if someone is exposed to cold and exhibits these symptoms.

Visit the Wisconsin Department of Health Services website for more information about staying safe during extreme cold.

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