Ways to Prepare in Propane Shortage that has affected Wisconsin & Upper Michigan

propaneGovernor Scott Walker declared a State of Emergency on Saturday, January 25th in response to the propane shortage impacting Wisconsin, and in advance of the dangerously cold temperatures expected to move across the state in the upcoming week.

All state agencies have been directed to be on alert and assist as needed.

“The health and safety of our citizens is our number one priority and this declaration gives us the necessary resources to protect the residents of Wisconsin,” said Gov. Walker. “I will do everything I can within my power to help our friends and loved ones relying on propane to heat their homes or businesses during this challenging situation.”

The propane supply shortage in the upper Midwest has caused delivery delays and reduced delivery amounts for propane customers in Wisconsin, as well as all Midwestern states.

Experts say the propane shortage has been caused by unusually cold winter temperatures, the temporary closure of a major pipeline that supplies propane to Wisconsin, Minnesota and Iowa, and a wet fall season which increased propane demand for grain drying.

About 250,000 Wisconsin residents use propane to heat their homes or businesses. Residents are being urged to check on friends, neighbors and loved ones during extreme cold weather to make sure everyone has a warm place to stay.

“The American Red Cross is working with the County Emergency Managers and Public Health Departments in the counties heavily impacted by the propane shortage,” said Doreen Martinez, Regional Disaster Program Officer.  “We are preparing our organization to assist with supporting the community and assuring no one is left out in the cold or living in a dangerous situation. We are coordinating our activities with county officials”.

Here are some additional tips you can follow to conserve your propane use:

  • Take shorter showers
  • Turn the furnace lower at night or when there is no one home
  • Use cold water when washing clothes
  • Wear wool
  • Dress in layers, wear thicker clothes
  • Wear socks or slippers
  • Leave the oven open after you bake
  • Open curtains and blinds during the day to let the sun in
  • Close curtains and blinds at night to keep out the cold
  • Use a humidifier. Humid air feels warmer
  • Shut bathroom fans off as quickly as possible to prevent heat loss
  • Run ceiling fans in reverse to push warm air back down to the ground
  • Use rugs on bare floors
  • Block drafts with weather stripping, rolled up towels or homemade draftstoppers
  • Keep your fireplace flue closed when you don’t have a fire to prevent unnecessary heat loss
  • Make sure heat vents, registers and radiators are free of obstructions. If they’re covered with furniture, the warm air won’t reach you – even though you’ve paid for it

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