JOPLIN, MO.--- As the temperatures drop, you're encouraged to prepare for the threat of winter storms. The National Weather Service and local emergency managers are encouraging people to have a plan in place before the first storm of the season hits. We could see the first wintry weather event in just a few days, so here's some helpful tips to get ready.
"Winter is coming and now's the time to start planning," said Keith Stammer, Jasper County Emergency Manager.
Jasper County Emergency Manager Keith Stammer says the to key preparation is to think ahead about traveling problems. The National Weather Service often calls winter storms "deceptive killers"
"They mean people can be injured if not killed in indirect manners, like traffic accidents or even hypothermia encountered when you are out on the road," said Stammer.
Local emergency managers like Stammer recommend you take these preparations. Have a winter car kit with sand for your tires, a shovel, a three pound coffee can with sand and a candle inside, plus blankets, snacks, and water.
"Have a communications plan with your family. Tell people where you are going and when you expect to be there. Finally, be informed, have a weather radio or listen to your location television station, your local radio station," said Stammer.
Meteorologist Gary Bandy says it's important to stay current with the forecast and understand key weather terms.
"If you hear us say the word 'warning,' whether it's a winter storm warning, or whether it's an ice storm warning. Those are the ones you really need to pay attention to," said Gary Bandy, KSN Meteorologist.
That means you will see a significant accumulation of snow or ice.
"Not only is it going to slow you down. It's going to make travel hazardous," said Bandy.
Now is also the time to make sure your heat sources work properly.
"Carbon monoxide poisoning is your number one problem with generators. Those need to be outside and not inside the house. Some heaters, if not properly maintained, can also produce carbon monoxide," said Stammer.
Also, if you have an outdoor pet, don't forget to check on them on a regular basis as it gets colder. The National Weather Service issued a winter weather advisory for parts of our viewing area starting tomorrow night.
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