Winter weather safety and preparedness tips

winter_weather_truckAt home and at work you should have some basic supplies on hand so that if a winter storm strikes, you can get along without some modern conveniences such as power and phone service.

Here are some things you should make sure to have ready at home:

  • Flashlight and extra batteries
  • Battery-powered TV to tune to KSN for the latest PinPoint Weather Center forecast and an NOAA weather radio.
  • Extra food and water. High energy food, such as dried fruit or candy, and food requiring no cooking or refrigeration is best.
  • Extra medicine (especially prescriptions) and baby items.
  • First-aid supplies.
  • Heating fuel.
  • Emergency heating source, such as a fireplace, wood stove, space heater, etc., that is especially designed for INDOOR USE.
    • Learn to use properly to prevent a fire.
    • Have proper ventilation. Carbon monoxide is a killer!
    • Do NOT use heating devices designed for outdoor use!
  • Fire extinguisher and smoke detector.
  • Test units regularly to ensure they are working properly.

In cars and trucks you are vulnerable to being caught out in the open. You must plan your travel carefully and check the latest KSN PinPoint Weather Center forecast to avoid the storm!

Here are some key things to prepare for winter travel:

Check current road conditions before you drive.  In Kansas, call 511 or 866-511-5368.  You can also find the information on the KDOT web page.

If you witness or experience an emergency on a Kansas highway, and you have a cell phone, call the Kansas Highway Patrol at *47 (*HP).  If the emergency is on the Kansas Turnpike, call the Kansas Turnpike Authority at *582 (*KTA).

Have your mechanic perform a winter vehicle inspection, checking:

  • Antifreeze level
  • Tire tread depth
  • Windshield washing fluid
  • Wiper blades
  • Exhaust system
  • All belts and hoses

When heading out on the road, pay attention to these tips:

  • Leave with adequate time to arrive on time for work and appointments
  • Increase following distance
  • Accelerate and brake more gently
  • Look and steer in the direction you want to go when you begin to skid
  • Pack your vehicle with a winter survival kit including the following items:
    • Cellular telephone and charger
    • Extra winter clothing – heavy gloves, hats and boots
    • Blankets/sleeping bags;
    • Flashlight with extra batteries;
    • First-aid kit;
    • Knife or scissors;
    • Non-perishable foods – energy bars, bottled water
    • Extra clothing to keep dry;
    • A large empty can and plastic cover with tissues and paper towels for sanitary purposes;
    • A smaller can and water-proof matches to melt snow for drinking water;
    • Ice scraper
    • Flares
    • Red Flag
    • Sack of sand (or cat litter);
    • Small shovel;
    • Booster cables or battery jump pack;
    • Water container;
    • Compass and road maps.
  • Keep your gas tank near full to avoid ice in the tank and fuel lines.
  • Try not to travel alone.
  • Let someone know your timetable and primary and alternate routes.

Remember, the KSN PinPoint Weather Center Team has the largest and most experienced team of TV meteorologists in Kansas to track fast moving, fast changing winter storms!

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