Prepare Kansas: At home or on the road, be ready for weather extremes – Osage County Online | Osage County News

Prepare Kansas: At home or on the road, be ready for weather extremes

Nancy Schuster and Rebecca McFarland
Frontier Extension District Agents

We’re about to enter one of the most agreeable times of year, weather wise in Kansas, but don’t let mild autumn temperatures fool you. Kansas’ location at the geographic center of the 48 continuous United States makes it a bullseye for all kinds of weather extremes.

In fact, the lowest temperature ever recorded in Kansas was at Lebanon, which happens to be the community closest to center of the U.S. A record low of -40 degrees F was set there on Feb. 13, 1905, according to the Kansas Weather Data Library. The highest temperature ever recorded was 121 degrees F at Fredonia on July 18, 1936. Alton, Kan., tied that record on July 24, 1936.

Prepare Kansas, a K-State Research and Extension program is designed to educate and help individuals and families prepare for emergencies. Being better prepared can help people recover more quickly from all kinds of emergencies, including winter storms and extreme cold.

Items to have on hand in preparation for winter’s sometimes brutal temperatures include:

  • De-icers to melt ice on walkways;
  • Sand to improve traction;
  • Snow shovels and other snow removal equipment; and
  • Sufficient heating fuel.

Put together a family communication plan in case you are not together if a storm hits.

It’s also best to minimize travel if the forecast is threatening. If travel is necessary, keep an emergency supply kit in the vehicle, including a shovel, windshield scraper and small broom, battery-powered weather radio, extra batteries, snacks and water, matches, blankets, extra hats and gloves, first aid kit and necessary medications, jumper cables, and tow chains or rope.

For more information, sign up for Prepare Kansas at  or contact Nancy Schuster at 785-448-6826 or, or Rebecca McFarland at 785-229-3520 or

More tips are also available at the Prepare Kansas blog, available to everyone, whether participating in Prepare Kansas or not.

schustersmNancy Schuster is a Frontier Extension District family and consumer science agent whose responsibilities include providing information about food safety, nutrition, food science and food preparation. She is based in the Garnett office of the Frontier Extension District and can be reached at 785-448-6826 or email

McFarland_RebeccaRebecca McFarland is the Frontier Extension District family and child development agent. For more information, she can be contacted at Frontier Extension’s Ottawa office, 1418 S. Main, Suite 2, Ottawa, KS 66067, or call 785-229-3520, or email

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