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BE PREPARED: Bitter Cold Temps Create Life-Threatening Conditions in Kansas, Missouri

Cold winter landscape in Lawrence (Photo by J. Schafer)

Dangerously cold weather is expected this weekend in Kansas, Missouri and the rest of the Midwest.  For anyone caught outside and unprepared, the bitter cold could become deadly.  KPR's J. Schafer reports.

Check out the latest weather from the National Weather Service.

Cold Weather Tips & Advice from the Kansas Division of Emergency Management:

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.

If you have to work outside, observe the following safety precautions:

     ·Use many thin, warm layers rather than a few thick layers.  It will insulate better and allow you to strip off layers if the temperature climbs.
     ·Do not work alone, if possible. Working with a partner allows you to keep an eye on each other
     ·Work in short periods to avoid over-exertion

Outdoor pets are especially vulnerable to bitter cold and extreme wind chills. Bring outdoor pets inside if possible.  Or, at least make sure 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 and for general winter preparedness information, go to

If you must travel, make sure you and your vehicle are prepared. Check the fluid levels, ensuring that the radiator is winterized, the gas tank is over half-full, and there is plenty of windshield washing fluid. Check tire treads for adequate traction, and replace windshield wiper blades if they are worn.

Keep an emergency kit in the trunk that includes at least:

     ·An ice scraper and shovel
     ·Jumper cables
     ·Sand or kitty litter for traction
     ·Extra blankets or clothing
     ·Non-perishable food
     ·A first aid kit
     ·Matches and candles or flares
     ·Tow rope or chain

On the road buckle up and properly secure children in safety seats.Road conditions are available through the Kansas Department of Transportation.  Check conditions before travel by going to You may also call 5-1-1 from any phone.

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


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