Local Emergency Officals Encourage Preparedness During "Winter Weather Awareness Day"
Wednesday marks Winter Weather Awareness Day in Missouri. The National Weather Service, the Missouri Department of Health and Senior Services, the State Emergency Management Agency and local emergency managers are joining forces to remind the public to be ready for hazardous winter weather before it strikes.
Emergency officials are reminding people to make sure fireplaces and generators are functioning properly, in the event that the power goes out. They also recommend that people prepare emergency home kits, consisting of bottled water, canned and dry foods, a battery-powered radio, flashlights, extra batteries and a first aid kit.
Drivers are encouraged to prepare a winter car kit, which includes a blanket, spare radio with extra batteries, snacks, jumper cables, road flares, and sand or shingles to give tires traction.
Andy Boxell, a meteorologist with the National Weather Service, says while it’s unclear how severe the winter weather will be this upcoming season, it’s important for everyone to be prepared for the worst.
“We really can see all varieties of hazardous weather during the winter months across the region. Everything from severe thunderstorms to blizzards, to ice storms. So it's really an opportunity for everyone to step back and look forward to the winter months and prepare,” Boxell said.
Boxell says it’s also important that people keep up-to-date on the latest weather forecasts, and to understand key National Weather Service terms:
- Winter Storm Watch– indicates that severe winter weather may affect your area within 12-48 hours
- Winter Storm Warning– indicates severe weather is in the area or expected immediately and can be life threatening
- Ice Storm Warning– issued for ice accumulations of a quarter-inch or more
Click the links below for more information about winter weather and tips on how to be prepared.
National Weather Service