Play Live Radio
Next Up:
0:00 0:00
Available On Air Stations
We’re in our Spring Fundraiser and you can help! Support KSMU programming today!

It's Winter Weather Preparedness Week — a time to start thinking about the coming season

A road is covered in snow
A road is covered in snow

The National Weather Service is working with other organizations in Missouri to help people get ready for winter.

This is Winter Weather Preparedness Week – a time to focus on getting ready for the coming cold months.

There are several things to keep in mind as winter draws near.

Meteorologist Rachel Nelson with the National Weather Service Springfield office said, first, become familiar with weather service terminology.

"A watch is issued when something is between 12 and 48 hours out from when we issue the watch," she said, "so, there's typically a high confidence — high probability that an impactful weather event is coming."

A winter storm warning is issued when the National Weather Service expects six inches or more of snow. An ice storm warning is issued when a ¼ inch or more of ice accumulation is expected.

A wind chill warning is issued when wind chills of less than minus 25 are expected.

Blizzard warnings mean wind gusts of at least 35 mph along with falling snow are expected.

Nelson said you can prepare by putting together a winter weather kit for your car "things like food and water, some matches or candles for keeping yourself warm, blankets, things like that."

And you should consider getting your vehicle winterized. That means checking the ignition system, cooling system, fuel system, battery, lights, tires, heater, brakes, wipers, defroster, oil and exhaust. Keep water out of your fuel tank by keeping it full.

You also might want to consider getting a generator for your home in case of power outages, but there are safety measures to keep in mind when using one. A small generator can usually only run one major appliance at a time, and generators must be placed outside to avoid carbon monoxide poisoning.

Find more tips here.

Winter Weather Preparedness Week is a collaboration of NWS, the Missouri Department of Public Safety, the Missouri State Emergency Management Agency, the Missouri Department of Health and Senior Services, the Missouri State Highway Patrol and the State Fire Marshal.

Michele Skalicky has worked at KSMU since the station occupied the old white house at National and Grand. She enjoys working on both the announcing side and in news and has been the recipient of statewide and national awards for news reporting. She likes to tell stories that make a difference. Michele enjoys outdoor activities, including hiking, camping and leisurely kayaking.