Blizzard conditions are expected in Kansas beginning tonight into Friday and Saturday with as much as 8-16 inches in Western Kansas and accumulations of 4-6 inches in Central and Eastern Kansas.
The Kansas Division of Emergency Management (KDEM) urges Kansans to prepare now for the dangerous weather conditions.
"It is absolutely critical to have an emergency kit in your home that allows you to stay safe during power outages," said Maj. Gen. Tod Bunting, director of KDEM and Kansas adjutant general. "This needs to include bottled water, non-perishable food, medications, blankets and flashlights."
"If you plan to travel over the next several days, make sure you have an emergency kit with you and plenty of gas in your vehicle's gas tank in case you become stranded or delayed," Bunting said. "If possible, change your travel plans to avoid the storm."
Additional information regarding emergency kits is available at www.ready.gov and www.ksready.gov.
Kansans may monitor road conditions by calling 511 or going to http://511.ksdot.org. If outside the state, call 1-866-511-5368 to get local road conditions.
KDEM staff is monitoring the storm system as it moves into the state at the State Emergency Operations Center in Topeka.
"We will be available to assist county emergency managers with resources if conditions warrant and we'll have additional staff and other state agencies on stand-by for full activation of the State Emergency Operations Center, if needed," said Angee Morgan, KDEM deputy director.
Kansans are reminded that during a severe winter storm it could be hours before emergency personnel are able to reach certain areas, which makes having an emergency kit critical.
"Forecasters are warning this winter storm will be significant for Kansas and we urge you to heed the warnings to prepare," Bunting said. "The simple actions you take to be ready for this storm can save your life and the life of your family."
Recommended Items to Include in a Basic Home Emergency Supply Kit:
Water, one gallon of water per person per day for at least three days, for drinking and sanitation
Food, at least a three-day supply of non-perishable food for each person
Battery-powered or hand-crank radio and a NOAA Weather Radio with tone alert and extra batteries for both
Flashlight and extra batteries
First aid kit
Whistle to signal for help
Dust mask, to help filter contaminated air and plastic sheeting and duct tape to shelter-in-place
Moist towelettes, garbage bags and plastic ties for personal sanitation
Wrench or pliers to turn off utilities
Can opener for food (if kit contains canned food)
Recommended Items to Include in a Vehicle Emergency Kit
· Windshield scraper and small broom
· Battery powered radio
· Extra batteries
· Snack food
· Extra hats, socks and mittens
· First aid kit with pocket knife
· Necessary medications
· Tow chain or rope
· Road salt and sand
· Booster cables
· Emergency flares
· Fluorescent distress flag
Additional preparation information for winter weather is available through your county emergency management office or at the following websites:
· Kansas Division of Emergency Management - http://www.ksready.gov/winter.shtml
· U.S. Department Homeland Security - www.ready.gov
· FEMA - http://www.fema.gov/hazard/winter/wi_before.shtm