Winter storm system will impact parts of Kansas
A winter storm system is forecast to descend across the northeast and east central parts of Kansas Friday and Saturday. The forecast is for ice accumulations of up to two tenths of an inch and snow accumulation of three to six inches. There will be blizzard like conditions due to forecasted high winds so visibility will be affected. The Kansas Division of Emergency Management is reminding Kansans that road travel is discouraged during extreme winter storm situations.
Avoid travel if you can, but if you must travel, be sure your car’s gas tank is full and you have an emergency kit. Vehicle emergency kits should include blankets, flashlights, batteries, a cell phone charger, hand-warmers, high-energy food snacks, bottled water, necessary medications, a snow shovel, flares and other emergency supplies. Make sure your cell phone is charged and someone is aware of your itinerary, including expected time of arrival. And whether at home or on the road, listen to your local radio and television stations for the latest weather information.
“I encourage all Kansans to be cautious as the winter storm moves through our state,” Governor Laura Kelly said. “Stay off the roads if possible and be mindful of emergency response personnel working hard to keep our citizens safe.”
For continuously-updated road information, go to www.KanDrive.org and click on the Road Condition map. Other construction information, camera views, weather websites and travel details are also available. You can also call 511 for Kansas road condition information from anywhere in the U.S., call 1-866-511-KDOT (5368).
Information on winter driving tips is available from the Kansas Highway Patrol at www.kansashighwaypatrol.org.
The Kansas Division of Emergency Management encourages all Kansans to prepare a home emergency kit that includes food, water, medications, extra clothing, flashlights and batteries, battery-operated NOAA weather radio and other necessities. If you already have a kit, now would be a good time to check their supplies and refresh any outdated food, medicines, batteries and other perishables. Make sure your kit includes supplies for your pet. For a complete list of items for an emergency kit, go to www.ready.gov.
Outdoor pets are especially vulnerable to bitter cold and extreme wind chills. Bring outdoor pets inside if possible or ensure that 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 the American Veterinary Medical Association http://avma.org.
Companion animals aren’t the only animals in need of protection during the winter months. Livestock, including horses, have their own unique considerations and needs when the weather gets colder.
*Provide appropriate shelter from the elements: Livestock can generally tolerate cold temperatures, but wind, rain, or snow will require a greater expenditure of calories. With that in mind, be sure they have a way to get out of the elements, especially the wind. Blankets can help protect horses, but a structural shelter with proper ventilation and dry bedding is the best method of protection. If you do blanket your horses, be sure to check underneath often for signs of injury, infection, or malnutrition.
*Consider the amount and quality of feed: Besides taking shelter, livestock keep warm by expending energy, which means they need to consume enough calories to heat themselves.
*Ensure access to water: It is crucial that your herd has access to fresh and unfrozen water. Tank heaters or heated buckets can help keep water at a temperature your animals are more comfortable drinking. Livestock will not consume adequate amounts of water if it is near freezing, and consuming enough water is important to your animals’ health and well-being in winter months.