To begin to prepare for severe winter weather, first create a preparedness kit. Stay tuned for storm watches and warnings issued by the National Weather Service. Know the terms used by the NWS, which can be seen on the NWS’ Learning About Winter Weather page.
Before the watches and warnings are issued, prepare a winter storm plan that will enable you and your family to survive for up to 72 hours without any outside assistance...
Develop an emergency communications plan. In case family members are separated from one another during a
winter storm (a real possibility during the day when adults are at work and children are at school),
have a plan for getting back together.
Ask an out-of-state relative or friend to serve as the "family contact." After a disaster, it's often easier to call long distance. Make sure all family members know the name, address and phone number of the contact person.
Make sure all family members know how to respond after a severe winter storm. Teach children how and when to call 9-1-1 and know local radio stations to tune in to for emergency information.
A major winter storm can be lethal. Preparing your home for cold weather conditions and responding to them effectively can reduce the dangers caused by winter storms.
If you plan to travel during the winter, you should stay abreast of local weather reports. When
forecasters are predicting threatening weather, the best bet is to seek shelter and wait out the storm.
The Missouri Department of Transportation provides up to the minute road conditions at http://traveler.modot.org/map/ . Knowing real-time road conditions can mean the difference between arriving on-time or not arriving at all.
All those who travel are advised to carry a winter storm supply kit in their vehicle. Assemble a separate disaster supplies kit for the trunk of each car used by members of your family that includes:
Ensure that your cell phone is fully charged before your begin your trip. If you are stranded in your car during a blizzard, make a call and wait for help to arrive. Do not try to walk to safety.
Frostbite is a severe reaction to cold exposure that can permanently damage its victims. A loss of
feeling and a white or pale appearance in fingers, toes or nose and ear lobes are symptoms of frostbite.
Hypothermia is a condition brought on when the body temperature drops to less than 90 degrees Fahrenheit. Symptoms of hypothermia include uncontrollable shivering, slow speech, memory lapses, frequent stumbling, drowsiness and exhaustion.
If frostbite or hypothermia are suspected, begin warming the person slowly and seek immediate medical assistance. Warm the person’s trunk first. Use your own body heat to help. Arms and legs should be warmed last because stimulation of the limbs can drive cold blood toward the heart and lead to heart failure. Put person in dry clothing and wrap their entire body in a blanket.
Never give a frostbite or hypothermia victim something with caffeine or alcohol.
The Springfield-Greene County Emergency Management Program along with community stakeholders strives to be a national model of best practices in mitigation, preparedness, response, and recovery against high-impact events to reduce loss of life, damage to property and harm to the environment. The Springfield-Greene County Emergency Management Program promotes enhanced regionalization of emergency management across southwest Missouri.