WASHINGTON - The Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) and its federal partners, including the National Weather Service, continue to closely monitor severe winter weather impacting the Central United States. FEMA’s regional office in Kansas City, Mo., is in contact with state emergency management counterparts and with tribal emergency managers in the path of the storm. In coordination with state partners, FEMA pre-positioned state liaisons in Iowa, Missouri, Nebraska, and Kansas. FEMA's National Watch Center in Washington, D.C., continues to monitor the situation and hold regular operational briefings with regional and federal partners as the severe winter weather continues.
According to the National Weather Service, the major winter storm will continue across much of the Central U.S. today, with heavy snow falling at times over the Central Plains, with accumulation of more than a foot expected in some locations. Snow, sleet and freezing rain are spreading across a large area of the Central and Southern Plains into the lower and middle Mississippi River Valley. Winter storm warnings and winter weather advisories are in effect for a large area of the Central and Southern Plains into the upper Midwest, while ice storm warnings are in effect for portions of Northern Arkansas, Southwestern Missouri and the Mississippi River Valley. In addition to winter weather across the Central and Southern Plains, severe storms are also possible across portions of the South this evening and overnight, with a risk of tornadoes and hail.
FEMA echoes the warnings issued by the National Weather Service and local, state and tribal officials in the affected region, and asks citizens and visitors in areas impacted by severe winter storms to avoid all travel both during and immediately following the storm. Individuals in the path of the storm should monitor NOAA weather radio and local weather forecasts or www.weather.gov for the latest information, including additional or changing weather watches and warnings.
Individuals in areas affected by the storm are reminded of these safety tips:
- Stay indoors during the storm.
- Walk carefully on snowy or icy walkways.
- Avoid overexertion when shoveling snow. If you must shovel snow, stretch before going outside.
- Keep dry. Change wet clothing frequently to prevent a loss of body heat.
- Use generators outdoors, away from doors, windows and vents.
- Older adults and individuals who are dependent on life-sustaining medical equipment or other assistive devices, such as a ventilator or mobility devices, may need additional support in areas that have lost power.
- Check on your neighbors or friends nearby who may need assistance or extra support.
For more information on what to do before, during and after winter storms, visit www.ready.gov/winter-weather.
FEMA's mission is to support our citizens and first responders to ensure that as a nation we work together to build, sustain, and improve our capability to prepare for, protect against, respond to, recover from, and mitigate all hazards.