Wisconsin winters can be hard to deal with at home and on the road. To encourage people to plan ahead for the snow and cold, the state has declared Nov. 5-9, 2018 as Winter Awareness Week in Wisconsin.

“Preparing for winter weather should begin before the snow is even on the ground,” said Maj. Gen. Don Dunbar, Wisconsin’s adjutant general and homeland security adviser. “Having an emergency supply kit in your home and vehicle could save your life or a neighbor’s life during a winter storm.”

Emergency kits should include items such as food, water, flashlight and batteries and blankets. In your vehicle, also be sure to include a snow shovel, extra gloves and hats, and kitty litter or sand to help give your wheels traction on icy roads in case you get stuck.

Cold and snow are coming, you can depend on it

According to the National Weather Service, Wisconsin experiences an average of 3-6 winter storms during a season. Last winter, Saxon in Iron County received 176 inches of snow. The Stockbridge-Munsee Reservation in Shawano County had the highest 24-hour total with 23.8 inches on April 16. The coldest spot was Butternut in Ashland County, with -38 degrees Fahrenheit on Jan. 2.

Winter driving can be extremely hazardous. According to the Wisconsin Department of Transportation, approximately 41 people are killed and almost 3,400 injured in crashes on icy or snow-covered roads in the state.

“Drivers should always check current road conditions before they head out,” Dunbar said. “If it’s a severe snow storm and you don’t need to drive, then stay home. If you must go out, make sure you have emergency supplies in your vehicle, leave early, let people know where you are traveling and when you should arrive.”

Before you travel, check with the 511 Wisconsin for the latest traffic and road conditions. This information, along with live traffic cameras and traffic alerts, can be accessed on the 511 Wisconsin system, which includes a free mobile app, @511WI on Twitter, or the mobile-friendly site www.511wi.gov.

To help you and your family get ready for winter weather, visit this website, where you can find winter weather maps, along with tips on putting together emergency kits and winter driving.

Learn more from the National Weather Service.

Rex Davenport

Rex Davenport is a reporter, editor and editorial project manager with more than 40 years of experience in newspaper, business magazines and other content channels.