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Be properly prepared for cold weather

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Cold weather graphic
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Portage County EMS Coordinat... (Download MP3)

STEVENS POINT, WI (WSAU) -  Are you ready for cold weather? As the temperatures drop, Portage County Emergency Medical Services Coordinator Michael Fraley says it’s time to make sure you’re prepared.

He says there are some basic steps you can take.  "Living where we do, we know the weather can change pretty quickly and unexpectedly.  Part of it is having some cold weather gear in your vehicle in case you get stranded or experience some weather your weren't expecting.  Part of it is just dressing at the beginning of the day knowing it could turn cold on you."

Fraley says packing your vehicle with basic tools and emergency supplies is always a good idea, and make sure you put them where you can get at them when needed. "Maybe some equipment to help get you out of the snow.  Maybe some equipment to help you signal for help as well."

Cold weather and water can be deadly. If you fall through ice or are exposed to water in cold weather, your body might not be able to handle it.  "Depending on your health and strength and some other variables, you might only have about ten minutes where your muscles actually work to support yourself and get out or get help."

Fraley says to pay attention to “the umbles.” When you experience symptoms of hypothermia, you start to mumble, stumble, fumble, and grumble because your body loses coordination and your mind isn’t as sharp. He says dry clothing and warm blankets are the best way to help someone with symptoms of hypothermia warm up.

You can listen to our interview with Michael Fraley by clicking on the application above.

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