MILWAUKEE -- To encourage people to plan ahead for the snow and cold, Governor Scott Walker has declared Nov. 5-9 as Winter Awareness Week in Wisconsin.
“Preparing for winter weather should begin before the snow is even on the ground. Having an emergency supply kit in your home and vehicle could save your life or a neighbor’s life during a winter storm,” said Major General Don Dunbar, Wisconsin’s adjutant general and homeland security advisor.
The changing seasons means changing out merchandise at Village Ace Hardware in Glendale.
"It's that time," said Frank Cuevas on Monday, Nov. 5.
Cuevas said now is the time to shop, before the snow flies.
"Right now is a good time because it goes quick. People come in. When you wait until the last second, there is nothing left," said Cuevas.
The necessities were stocked at Village Ace Hardware Monday -- gloves, shovels, salt and window kits, but above the bottom line is customer safety. That's why Cuevas, a long-time Village Ace Hardware employee, doesn't mess around when it comes to prepping your furnace for the upcoming freeze.
"If you know your furnace, you'll know the number. We will help you find the correct filter for that size. If you don't know your furnace, I would suggest you call the company. It's very important," said Cuevas.
It's also important you have working carbon monoxide detectors and working smoke alarms.
"The most important is life. You, your family," said Cuevas.
Another winter must-have is an emergency kit for your vehicle. Emergency kits should include items such as food, water, a 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.
According to the National Weather Service, Wisconsin experiences an average of three to six 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.