(Special to westernkansasnews.com)
TOPEKA, Kan. — A winter storm system is forecast to impact portions of western Kansas with possible accumulating snowfall and gusty winds through the overnight hours of Thursday/early morning hours of Friday. Portions of central and eastern Kansas are expected to receive rain.
The Kansas Division of Emergency Management will be monitoring the storm and is reminding Kansans to make sure their emergency supplies are ready.
“Although blizzard-like conditions are not currently expected, increased winds could cause blowing snow creating visibility issues,” said Angee Morgan, KDEM deputy director. “Just the same, road conditions may become snow packed and icy. Kansans are urged to change or delay their travel plans if possible in these areas until the storm moves through.”
Winter road conditions are accessible by dialing 5-1-1 from your mobile phone anywhere in Kansas; outside Kansas call 1-866-511-5368 (KDOT). Road conditions many also be viewed on the Kansas Department of Transportation web site at http://kandrive.org.
If you must travel, be sure your car’s gas tank is full and you have an emergency kit. 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. Make sure your cell phone is charged and someone is aware of your itinerary, including expected time of arrival.
Information on winter driving tips is available from the Kansas Highway Patrol at http://www.kansashighwaypatrol.org/259/Winter-Driving-Tips. You can also follow the Kansas Highway Patrol on Facebook and Twitter at www.kansashighwaypatrol.org.
Outdoor pets are especially vulnerable to bitter cold and extreme wind chills. Bring outdoor pets inside if possible or ensure that they have a draft-free enclosure with straw-type bedding that is large enough for your pets to lie down, but small enough to hold in body heat if they must remain outside. Always make sure that your pets have access to food and non-frozen water.
For additional pet safety information, go to http://avma.org or https://www.aspca.org/pet-care/general-pet-care/cold-weather-safety-tips.
For a complete list of items for an emergency kit and general winter preparedness information, go to www.ready.gov.