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Local and State Agencies Preparing for Winter Months

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Ahead of another winter season, state and local agencies will be observing Missouri Winter Weather Awareness Day on Wednesday.

Erin Hedlun is the public information officer for Springfield-Greene County Office of Emergency Management. She says that preparedness is important to ensuring citizen safety, and offers these basic tips.

“That would ensure that you have a travel kit in your car that would be filled with some preparedness items: flashlights extra batteries, blankets, gloves, food items, nonperishable food items,” Hedlun said.

Hedlun explained that having a similar preparedness kit in your home is also important. As for being outside, she advises dressing in layers, and being able to recognizing symptoms of frost bite like numbness in the fingers and nose.

“If possible take breaks that you can go inside you can warm up before going outside into the elements again,” Hedlun said.

She added that keeping your face, head and hands warm is important because these are the areas from which heat escapes quickly.

Officials also remind citizens of terms commonly used by the National Weather Service this time of year.  A Winter Storm Watch indicates that severe winter weather may affect your area.  A Winter Storm Warning indicates severe weather conditions are definitely on the way and to take precautions.  And an Ice Storm Warning is issued when ice accumulations of a quarter-inch or more may be expected. 

As far as transportation,  MoDOT has been preparing its crews. Earlier this month, the agency had a drill to test its winter readiness by utilizing plowing techniques and safety measures.