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Winter weather hazards

Be prepared for winter weather hazards

It’s Winter Weather Awareness Day in Kansas. Here are tips to be better prepared for inclement weather as Johnson County residents deal with the first cold snap of the season.

Before a winter storm

  • Prepare: Review your family plan and ensure you have enough food and water to last 72 hours.
  • Monitor: Weather changes quickly. Stay up-to-date with the latest forecast and warnings.
  • Review: Advisories are issued when winter weather will create travel delays and safety issues, and warnings mean the weather could be life threatening. Watches may precede either of these, and are issued when impacts are still 12 to 48 hours out.

During a winter storm

  • Stay indoors: Avoid unnecessary travel and exposure to the elements.
  • Slow down: If you must travel, drive cautiously and defensively. Clear off ice and snow, and don't leave home without emergency supplies.
  • Use caution: If you lose power, know how to heat and light your home safely. Never bring a generator inside.

After a winter storm

  • Connect: Let your pre-designated contact know you're okay, especially if you are traveling.
  • Proceed with caution: If you were away during a winter storm, be aware that carbon monoxide, electrical hazards, and food and water quality may all be concerns inside your home.
  • Protect your health: Take frequent breaks shoveling and cover exposed skin in cold conditions.

Update your vehicle emergency kit

You can greatly increase your preparedness by adding simple items to your vehicle emergency kit such as a cell phone charger, warm blankets and a flashlight. If you must travel through hazardous winter conditions, add a snow shovel and kitty litter to your preparedness kit. And if you a traveling a long distance or to remote locations, add water, snacks and a paper map. Above all, let someone know about your travel plans.