TOPEKA, KAN. ----- With the first frosts of the season already behind us, the Kansas Division of Emergency Management, in conjunction with the National Weather Service and local emergency management officials across the state, is urging Kansans to prepare for winter.
Winter Weather Awareness Day is Wednesday, Nov. 20. The date is designated annually to remind Kansans of the potential hazards associated with winter weather and the actions everyone can take to have a safer winter.
"Be aware of weather conditions when you travel during the holiday season," said Maj. Gen. Lee Tafanelli, director of the Kansas Division of Emergency Management and adjutant general. "Make sure your cell phone is charged before you start and have an emergency kit in your vehicle."
Tafanelli said 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.
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.
"Now is also a good time to take stock of your home emergency kit and make sure you're prepared in case you are snowed in without power," said Tafanelli.
Tafanelli advised Kansans to be prepared by assembling a home emergency kit with 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 games and pet food.
For a complete list of items for a home or car emergency kit, go to 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, or your county emergency management office.
Winter road conditions are accessible by dialing 5-1-1 from your mobile phone or by going to the Kansas Department of Transportation web site at http://511.www.ksdot.org.