Emergency officials urge Kansans to ready for snowy weather

Although the calendar says winter doesn’t officially begin until Dec. 21, winter weather is definitely here with snow in the forecast and bitterly cold temperatures already here.

The Kansas Division of Emergency Management advises Kansans to plan ahead if you have to be outside and to make sure home and auto emergency kits are stocked with items for winter.

“We’ve already experienced bitter temperatures,” said Maj. Gen. Lee Tafanelli, the adjutant general and director of the Kansas Division of Emergency Management. “Try to limit your time outside. If you must go out to shovel snow or other reasons, dress appropriately and take frequent warming breaks. Make sure someone knows your plans so they can check on you. Remember to check on elderly friends and neighbors, too.

“Check your home and car emergency kits to make sure you have what you need for winter,” Tafanelli said. “Keeping your kits updated from season to season is important.”

Home emergency kits should contain supplies for every member of the family for a minimum of three days, including bottled water (one gallon per person per day), non-perishable foods, flashlights, batteries, blankets, medications, children’s items, games and pet food.

Vehicle emergency kits should include blankets, flashlights, batteries, a cell phone charger, hand-warmers, high-energy food snacks, bottled water, necessary medications, a snow shovel, flares and other emergency supplies.

For a complete list of items for a home or car emergency kit, visit www.ksready.gov.

Additional information on preparing for winter weather is available from FEMA at www.fema.gov, the American Red Cross at www.redcross.org, and your county emergency management office.

Additional vehicle preparations recommended include winterizing your car by checking tires and anti-freeze levels, and never letting your vehicle’s gas tank fall below a quarter tank because road conditions may slow down your travel or leave you stranded with no gas and no access to heat.

Information on winter driving tips is available from the Kansas Highway Patrol at http://www.kansashighwaypatrol.org/press/news_info/winter_drive.html You can also follow the Kansas Highway Patrol on Facebook and Twitter at www.kansashighwaypatrol.org.

Winter road conditions are accessible by dialing 511 from your mobile phone anywhere in Kansas; outside Kansas call 866-511-5368 (KDOT). Road conditions many also be viewed on the Kansas Department of Transportation web site at http://kandrive.org.

Information thanks to Kansas Department of Emergency Management.


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