Winter weather is coming, so be prepared

Contact: Public Affairs Office- Katie Horner

(785) 646-1192

It’s a message that most people have heard before, but it’s one that bears repeating: The time to prepare for severe winter weather is now.

“The current forecast is for bitter temperatures and wind chills with various amounts of snowfall across the state,” said Angee Morgan, deputy director of the Kansas Division of Emergency Management. “If you haven’t already done so, now is the time to check your home and car emergency kits and replenish any outdated supplies.”

Emergency kits should include a minimum three-day supply of water (one gallon per day per person), nonperishable high-energy foods, extra blankets, flashlights and extra batteries, a safe alternate heat source, extra medications and other essentials.

Pet owners are reminded to see to the needs of their pets, particularly if kept outdoors. When making your home emergency kit, make one for your pets, as well, with the same three-day supply of food and water, and other essentials. Ensure that your pet has a warm, dry shelter with straw or other bedding material, and access to food and water that is not covered by snow or ice. If you do not have a heated water dish, make sure to replace the water at least daily when temperatures drop below freezing. During particularly severe conditions, bring the pet indoors to a garage, mud room or other warm area.

Road travel is discouraged during extreme storm situations; however, if you must travel, you should take extra precautions to keep yourself and your family safe. Keep at least a half a tank of gas in your car at all times in case you get stranded or stuck in traffic. Arrange your travel plans so you can leave well ahead of bad weather and keep an emergency kit in your car.

Recommended items to include in your vehicle:

  • Water
  • Snack food
  • Shovel
  • Windshield scraper and small broom
  • Flashlight
  • Battery powered radio
  • Extra batteries
  • Matches
  • Extra hats, socks and mittens
  • First aid kit with pocket knife
  • Necessary medications
  • Blanket(s)
  • Tow chain or rope
  • Road salt and sand
  • Booster cables
  • Emergency flares
  • Fluorescent distress flag

Information on winter driving tips is available from the Kansas Highway Patrol at You can also follow the Kansas Highway Patrol on Facebook and Twitter at

If you must travel, get the latest road information from the Kansas Department of Transportation by calling 5-1-1 or visiting the Kandrive website at To find information on road conditions when not in the state, call 1-866-511-5368.

For a complete list of items for a home or car emergency kit and for other helpful preparedness information, go to