Stay Safe And Warm During Arctic Blast

Arctic weather with dangerous wind chills of -35 to -45 degrees are forecast to reach Central Wisconsin by Sunday evening, with the worst of the cold all throughout Monday.

Lieutenant Wally Olson of the Wausau Fire Department said to try to stay inside, away from the cold as much as possible. If heating your home is too much of an expense, he warned using your cooking sources is not a good alternative.

"I do not recommend using any alternative heat sources, such as barbeque grills or even a gas oven. That produces a lot of carbon monoxide and can be dangerous if you're in an enclosed room," said Olson

Those options are also a good way to start a fire. Olson said to be mindful of other fire-hazards while you try to stay warm.

"Be careful with extension cords. If you have extra space heaters, make sure they have a safety tip-over switch in case something would happen and they get knocked over they don't keep going. Don't overload your wall outlets with several space heaters or anything."

He added if you start a fire, all of your attempts to stay warm will just send you out into the cold.

Olson also had a list of other things to remember when trying to stay safe and warm with this plunge in temperatures:

- Do not go outside if you do not have to, but if you must venture out, make sure to bundle up in multiple layers and cover any exposed skin.
- Try not to use your car, again if you must, make sure your car is in good working condition. Do not let it warm up for long periods of time, as car fires increase in the winter due to extended warm-up times.
- Have extra emergency equipment such as blankets, snacks, water, and extra clothes in your car. You can use them if you get stranded while driving and if you find yourself stuck in a snowbank waiting for help, try to keep your car running to stay warm, but make sure your exhaust pipe is not blocked to prevent carbon monoxide poisoning.
- Although you may feel like you are warming up when consuming alcohol, you actually are just making it more difficult to feel the cold, but are still being affected by the cold weather exposure.

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