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Emergency warming centers are available
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MONROE - Green County Emergency Management has coordinated with two communities to provide emergency warming centers that will be open from noon today, Jan. 24 through Tuesday, Jan. 27. Centers in Monroe and Brodhead will be available only as needed. For assistance, contact the police department or the Green County Sheriff's Department.

Green County Emergency Management is recommending that residents take extra precautions to ensure their safety during extreme cold weather. Frostbite can occur on exposed skin in less than 10 minutes. Symptoms include a loss of feeling and a white or pale appearance in fingers, toes, ear tips and tip of the nose.

Signs of hypothermia include shivering, exhaustion, confusion, fumbling hands, memory loss, slurred speech and drowsiness in adults and children. In infants, symptoms can include bright red or cold skin and very low energy. Those who notice anyone exhibiting any of the symptoms of hypothermia, should seek medical care immediately.

Emergency management is also offering these other safety tips:

Carbon Monoxide Danger

Carbon monoxide is the leading cause of accidental poisoning deaths in the U.S. Symptoms of overexposure to carbon monoxide are often mistaken for the flu and include headaches, fatigue, dizziness, shortness of breath/chest pain, nausea/vomiting, and confusion. Those who experience any of these symptoms, or if carbon monoxide detector sounds an alarm, head outside immediately for fresh air and call 9-1-1.

Never run a gasoline or propane heater or a grill (gas or charcoal) inside a home or an unventilated garage. Any heating system that burns fuel will produce carbon monoxide. Never run a car in an enclosed space. If a vehicle is running, a door should open to the outside. Generators should be run a safe distance from the home. Never run a generator in the home or garage, or right next to windows or doors. Make sure you have a working carbon monoxide detector.

Pet Precautions

Pets are also sensitive to the elements. It is recommended to bring them indoors during bitter weather. Dogs and cats can get frostbitten ears, nose and feet if left outside during bitter cold weather. Chemicals used to melt snow and ice can also irritate pets' paws - be sure to keep anti-freeze, salt and other poisons away from pets.

Cats sometimes crawl under cars and into the engine compartment seeking shelter and warmth. Bang on the hood before starting the car on cold days to startle sleeping animals.

Livestock Precautions

Animals can suffer from hypothermia, frostbite and other cold weather injuries. Harsh conditions weaken their immune systems and open the door to illness. Calves and swine are especially susceptible to cold. Make sure animals have a place to get out of the wind, even if it is just a windbreak or a three-sided shelter. Also provide dry bedding to protect them from frostbite. Animals also burn extra calories to keep warm in severe cold. They also need access to fresh water - not frozen streams or snow. Stock tank heaters and frost-proof watering devices will ensure that livestock get enough to drink.

On The Road

Those who are traveling should make sure they have a winter emergency kit in your vehicle. Items to include in the kit are candles and matches, a flashlight, pocket knife, snacks, a cell phone adapter, a blanket and extra clothing. Also check with 511WI for road conditions.