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Plan ahead and give yourself extra time if you’re traveling this week


If there is one message Dawn Robinson wants to get out to people this week, it’s to triple-check the weather and adjust your travel plans accordingly.

“Maybe you may consider not traveling and revising your plans for travel,” she said. Robinson is the program assistant for the Oneida County Sheriff’s Office Emergency Services.

Meteorologists are closely monitoring a winter storm that could impact people in more than a dozen states.

And while the exact details of the storm are evolving, it’s expected to bring snow, strong winds, and dangerous wind chill values to most of Wisconsin, Minnesota, and Illinois.

Wednesday through Friday is expected to be the worse weather days for traveling.

If you’re set on traveling, Robinson urges you to check the weather along your route and at your destination as well as road conditions at 511 Wisconsin.

“Make sure that if you do decide to travel that you contact someone to let them know who is traveling with you, the route you’re taking, about what time you’re going to get there, and make sure you call them when you do arrive,” said Robinson.

It’s always a good idea to keep a winter emergency kit in your vehicle.

It should include things like:

  • Blankets or sleeping bags
  • Extra hats, socks and mittens
  • Flashlight with extra batteries
  • First-aid kit
  • Shovel, booster cables and windshield scraper
  • Water and high-calorie non-perishable food (raisins, candy bars, energy/protein bars)
  • Sand or cat litter to use for traction
  • Cell phone charger

You should make sure you’re fully prepared for yourself, your passengers, and any pets or service animals you’re traveling with.
Robinson says to make sure your kit is accessible from the main part of the car in case you can’t get out to access your trunk.

“If you do become stranded, make sure that you do check to make sure the snow is not up against the tailpipe, make sure it’s free of that. Crack your window a little bit. If you do become stranded only run your vehicle for about 10 minutes an hour to make sure you’re saving that battery life,” said Robinson.

Robinson also recommends getting your car winterized by an auto technician.

Ready Wisconsin also has resources for traveling and your home during winter emergencies.

Katie Thoresen is WXPR's News Director/Vice President.
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