Reading Time: < 1 minute

Wisconsin Watch partners with Gigafact to produce fact briefs — bite-sized fact checks of trending claims. Read our methodology to learn how we check claims.


During the winter of 2021-22, there were 91 deaths and at least 2,200 emergency room visits in Wisconsin due to extreme cold, according to a press release from ReadyWisconsin.

Wisconsin’s Department of Health Services reported that Wisconsin averages about 50 cold-related deaths per year. Between 2010 and 2018, Wisconsin recorded 428 cold-related deaths between Oct. 1 and April 30.

In the same nine-year period, there were about 2,500 hospitalizations and about 7,800 emergency room visits due to extreme cold.

Those most at risk for cold-related illnesses include older adults, infants sleeping alone in cold bedrooms and people experiencing homelessness.

Alcohol, drugs and medications that affect how the body regulates temperature are also risk factors.

WDHS recommends staying inside when possible, wearing loose layers, stocking home and vehicle emergency kits, checking on friends and neighbors and knowing the signs of hypothermia.


ReadyWisconsin November 14-18 is Winter Weather Awareness Week in Wisconsin

Wisconsin Department of Health Services Extreme Cold in Wisconsin: Trends, Surveillance and Prevention

Wisconsin Department of Health Services Winter Weather Health and Safety Tips

Creative Commons License

Republish our articles for free, online or in print, under a Creative Commons license.

Hope Karnopp joined Wisconsin Watch as a reporting intern in May 2022. She is a journalism major and is pursuing certificates in public policy and environmental studies at UW-Madison. Hope previously covered state politics as an intern for the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel. She also works with the Daily Cardinal and hosts a radio segment about campus news for WORT-FM, which has been recognized by the Milwaukee Press Club.