Cold weather takes a toll on people and businesses


by Becky Mortensen
by Keith Meka

MILWAUKEE --- People are struggling to deal with the cold temperatures that are expected to hit overnight and continue into the week.

Some businesses have to bring in extra staff to keep up with the problems caused by the cold.

Extreme cold usually leads to issues with furnaces and thermostats and for many heating technicians, that will mean extended hours for the approaching cold snap.

"We see a lot of breakdowns that's for sure," Kevin Jander of Burnat Heating told CBS 58's Keith Meka. "Here I am working on a Sunday night instead of watching the football game."

Jander says a lot of cold related problems can be avoided if people get yearly maintenance checks on their furnaces and keep a clean filter in at all times.

"The furnace is definitely working overtime in temperatures this low," Jander explained. "They're not really designed for below zero degrees and things like that."

With the arctic blast expected to continue into next week, Jander expects he'll be staying busy.

"I probably won't be eating dinner with my wife until Wednesday," Jander said.

This cold snap is also keeping ambulance companies like Paratech busy as well.

"We do get busier and we do plan for it," Edward Hespe with Paratech Ambulance explained. "We usually have extra crews typically so we are prepared for higher call volumes."

EMT's see a lot of frost bite when temperatures dip this low. They suggest limiting exposure to the elements.

With bitter cold temperatures ambulances will be called out to almost all fire department calls to help keep people warm at scenes.

"We usually have people driving out in the extreme cold, they get into an accident and now they're typically in more danger because they're exposed to the elements without heat going in the car," Hespe said.


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