Although winter does not officially arrive until Dec. 22, winter weather is already hitting the state. The Kansas Division of Emergency Management is urging Kansans to make preparations now for the below freezing temperatures, snow and ice-covered roadways, possible power outages and blizzard conditions the state will face in the coming weeks and months.
"We can’t predict how bad it will get this winter, but we know historically in Kansas we always have difficult winter weather," said Maj. Gen. (KS) Lee Tafanelli, director of Kansas Division of Emergency Management and the adjutant general. "We are urging everyone to take time today to check the family emergency kit at home and all the vehicle emergency kits you have to ensure you have bottled water, non-perishable foods, medicines, blankets, flashlights and batteries. And if you must travel in severe weather, stay informed of changing weather conditions."
Kansans are reminded that during a severe winter storm it could be a few hours before emergency personnel are able to reach certain areas, which makes having an emergency kit critical.
KDEM recommends you have enough food, water, medications and other necessities to last at least three days. Keep flashlights on hand with plenty of batteries. Buy an emergency weather radio and monitor it. And don’t forget your pet when stocking your emergency kit.
Make sure you have plenty of wood for your fireplace or invest in a safe alternative heat source, such as a propane heater.
Kansans may monitor road conditions by calling 511 or going to http://511.ksdot.org. If outside the state, call 1-866-511-5368 to get local road conditions.
Recommended items to include in a basic home emergency supply kit include:
- Water, one gallon of water per person per day for at least three days, for drinking and sanitation
- Food, at least a three-day supply of non-perishable food for each person
- Battery-powered or hand-crank radio and a NOAA Weather Radio with tone alert and extra batteries for both
- Flashlight and extra batteries
- First aid kit
- Whistle to signal for help
- Dust mask, to help filter contaminated air and plastic sheeting and duct tape to shelter-in-place
- Moist towelettes, garbage bags and plastic ties for personal sanitation
- Wrench or pliers to turn off utilities
- Can opener for food (if kit contains canned food)
- Pet food and supplies (if applicable).
Recommended items to include in a vehicle emergency kit include:
- Windshield scraper and small broom
- Battery powered radio
- Extra batteries
- Snack food
- Extra hats, socks and mittens
- First aid kit with pocket knife
- Necessary medications
- Tow chain or rope
- Road salt and sand
- Booster cables
- Emergency flares
- Fluorescent distress flag
- Local maps
Additional preparation information for winter weather is available at the following websites: