Winter Weather Awareness Day on Nov. 20 encourages Missourians to prepare for winter storms
Emergency kits should include items for cold temperatures, snow and ice
As cold temperatures return to the state, it is important for Missourians to plan for the threat of
severe winter storms and the dangers these storms can pose. To help get ready, the National
Weather Service, the Missouri Department of Health and Senior Services, the State
Emergency Management Agency and Missouri's local emergency managers are joining
forces to promote Nov. 20 as Winter Weather Awareness Day in Missouri.
Because Missouri's winter weather can be difficult to predict and can quickly become severe,
people are encouraged to begin preparing now, before winter sets in. Among the preparations
Missourians can make are:
· Creating a family emergency
plan and an emergency kit with bottled water and
food that can be prepared without cooking in case of a power outage. Kits should
include bottled water, canned and dry foods, battery-powered radio, flashlights, extra
batteries, manual can opener and a first-aid kit.
· Making sure all heat sources, such as fireplaces, woodstoves and oil heaters
function properly. If you have a generator, make sure you have fuel and that your
generator functions properly. Only operate generators outdoors.
· Creating a winter car kit. This includes a blanket, spare radio with batteries, snacks or
energy-type food, jumper cables, flares, shovel and sand or shingles to give tires traction.
· Exercising caution when
shoveling snow or pushing a car out of snow banks and
avoiding unnecessary travel when driving conditions are poor.
· Making sure cell phones
are charged before driving in foul winter weather and
ensuring that important emergency numbers, such as *55 for the Missouri State Highway
Patrol, are saved for fast dialing in case of emergencies on state highways.
It is also important for people to stay current on weather forecasts and to understand key
National Weather Service terms:
· Winter Storm Watch indicates that severe winter weather may affect your area within
· Winter Storm Warning indicates severe winter weather is in the area or expected
immediately and can be life threatening.
· Ice Storm Warnings are issued for ice accumulations of a quarter-inch or more.
Additional information about winter weather and preparedness tips can be found at the
following Web sites:
· SEMA: www.sema.dps.mo.gov (Click on "Severe Winter Weather" in the "Plan and
You may contact your local NWS office for interviews about Winter Weather Awareness Day
or for additional information:
St. Louis: (636) 441-8467
Kansas City: (816) 540-6021
Springfield: (417) 869-4491
Paducah, Ky: (270) 744-6440