UPDATE: Occupy Madison campers given shelter from bitter cold - WQOW TV: Eau Claire, WI NEWS18 News, Weather, and Sports

UPDATE: Occupy Madison campers given shelter from bitter cold

Posted:

TOKEN CREEK (WKOW) -- A coalition of faith groups in Sun Prairie is opening the doors of a church to accommodate people who have been camping at Token Creek Park as part of the Occupy Madison movement.

Hope Bennett of the Shelter from the Storm Ministries of Sun Prairie tells 27 News twenty people are expected to spend Monday night at Transformation Church, as temperatures are expected to drop to -7.

Campers with the Occupy movement have been at Token Creek Park since November.

A man who only identified himself to 27 News as Richard says he works as a bricklayer. Richard says he will remain at Token Creek, confident his pop-up tent and space heaters will get him through this cold snap.

"I was in construction for thirty years...I work outside. Winter doesn't bother me," Richard tells 27 News.

Occupy movement camper Don Schaefer says he will consider accepting the offered shelter at the church, after recent problems as he camped.

"My electricity went out," Schaefer says. "I just curled up in a ball and dealt with it."

Bennett says church shelter will remain available on nights when the temperature drops below zero.

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MADISON (WKOW) -- It's getting dangerously cold and officials say it's important to take care when venturing outdoors.

Experts recommend wearing as many layers of clothing as possible, especially for particularly sensitive people like children and the elderly.

Wisconsin Emergency Management preparedness coordinator Tod Pritchard says too much exposure can lead to serious medical conditions like frostbite or even hypothermia, in as little as ten minutes.

"The tip of your nose, your ears, your hands, those are the things that get cold the fastest," says Pritchard. "So, you want to limit your exposure to being outside."

For many, driving in the cold can be a big problem. It's more likely for a car to struggle to start the colder it gets.

Cold weather can also impact your car's performance. Mechanics say check the strength of your battery as well as car fluids.

"Most batteries only last five years, so most people don't realize that, so, and they've got a car -- seven, eight years old -- and the same battery, they're going to start getting stuck," says Raymond DuBois, mechanic at LubePro.

If you don't already have a survival kit in your car, Pritchard recommends carrying water, snacks, a flashlight and a warm blanket.

If you plan to venture out in the single digit temperatures and below zero wind chills at all the next few days, it's important to remember a few things to protect yourself.

We have to think about our pets too. Dane County Humane Society suggests shortening their walks and bathroom breaks this week. Short-haired animals should have coats and sweaters when going outside.

Also, check behind each of your tires before backing out of your driveway, because cats often curl up near warm vehicles. Wash off any road salt that might get on your pets' feet because it could cause infection.

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