KANSAS CITY, Mo. -- As a powerful winter storm complete with significant accumulation of ice and snow, high winds, and bitterly cold temperatures approaches the central U.S., staff at the Federal Emergency Management Agency’s (FEMA) Region VII office continue to take steps to coordinate with state and local officials in Iowa, Kansas, Missouri, and Nebraska, as they prepare for the storm. FEMA also encourages residents to quickly complete their preparations for the approaching weather.
“Residents should take this storm seriously and stay informed,” said FEMA Region VII Administrator Beth Freeman. “We have been in contact with the National Weather Service and our emergency management partners at the local, state, and federal levels as well as representatives of the private sector and voluntary agencies throughout the region to ensure proper measures are in place to protect life and property.”
When winter storms hit, the first responders are local emergency and public works personnel, volunteers, humanitarian organizations, and numerous private interest groups. This collection of agencies helps provide emergency assistance required to protect the public’s health and safety to meet immediate needs.
FEMA has pre-staged emergency commodities across the United States should they be needed to support state and local emergency response operations. In addition, FEMA liaison officers have been deployed to Kansas and Missouri to help coordinate if additional support is needed.
Residents should follow the instructions of state and local officials and listen to local radio or TV stations for updated emergency information.
Important Winter Weather Safety Tips
- Remember, when a winter storm warning is issued, stay indoors during the storm.
- Avoid traveling by car, but if you must, make sure you have an emergency supply kit in the trunk of your car. FEMA urges families to maintain an emergency supply kit both at home and in the car to help prepare for winter power outages and icy or impassable roads.
- An emergency supply kit should include a three-day supply of food and water, a battery-powered or hand-crank radio and extra flashlights and batteries. Thoroughly check and update your family's emergency supply kit and add the following supplies in preparation for winter weather:
- Rock salt to melt ice on walkways;
- Sand to improve traction;
- Snow shovels and other snow removal equipment;
- And adequate clothing and blankets to help keep you warm.
- Ensure your family preparedness plan and contacts are up to date and exercise your plan. Learn about the emergency plans that have been established in your area by your state and local government, and ensure your home and car are prepared for the winter weather.
- Finally, everyone should get familiar with the terms that are used to identify a winter storm hazard and discuss with your family what to do if a winter storm watch or warning is issued. Terms used to describe a winter storm hazard include the following:
- Freezing Rain creates a coating of ice on roads and walkways.
- Sleet is rain that turns to ice pellets before reaching the ground. Sleet also causes roads to freeze and become slippery.
- Winter Weather Advisory means cold, ice and snow are expected.
- Winter Storm Watch means severe weather such as heavy snow or ice is possible in the next day or two.
- Winter Storm Warning means severe winter conditions have begun or will begin very soon.
For more information on Winter Weather Preparedness and Safety, visit Ready.gov
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