Emergency Preparedness


Winter Driving in Wisconsin

Winter Weather Driving

It is important for all of us to prepare for the power of winter storms. Few of us will forget the Groundhog Day Blizzard of 2011.

Here are some driving tips. Be gentle with both the accelerator and brake. Don't use cruise control in wintry conditions. Don't be overconfident in you four-wheel drive. You may get going quicker than others but you can't stop faster. Four-wheel drive vehicles can lose traction as quickly as two-wheel drive.

Carry a winter storm survival kit in the back of your vehicle (in case your trunk jams or is frozen shut) that includes: 

  •  Blankets or sleeping bags
  •  Flashlight with extra batteries
  •  First-aid kit
  •  Shovel, tools, booster cables and windshield scraper
  •  High-calorie non-perishable food (raisins, candy bars, energy/protein bars, etc.)
  •  Sand or cat litter to use for traction
  •  Cell phone adapter

Safety First - Stay Informed!
The National Weather Service (NWS) issues winter storm warnings and watches. Here's what they mean:

Winter Storm Watch - Winter storm conditions (heavy snow, sleet and freezing rain) are possible within the next 36-48 hours. Continue monitoring the weather forecast.

Winter Storm or Ice Storm Warning - A significant winter event is occurring or will begin in the next 24 hours. The combination or snow, sleet, freezing rain and moderate winds will impact travel and outdoor activities. An Ice Storm Warning is issued when mostly freezing rain is expected with ice accumulations of 1/4 inch or more within a 12-hour period. Take necessary precautions - consider canceling travel plans. 

Blizzard Warning - A dangerous event with winds that are 35 mph or greater in combination with falling and/or blowing snow that reduces visibility to 1/4 mile or less for a duration of at least 3 hours.

For additional information, contact your County Emergency Management Office or National Weather Service.