FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
November 09, 2010


Winter Weather Awareness Day is Nov. 17 in Missouri

Missourians are reminded to prepare for cold temperatures and potentially dangerous weather this winter

In addition to cold temperatures and snow and ice, winter brings dangerous driving conditions and the potential for damaging and deadly storms. That's why the National Weather Service, the Missouri Department of Health and Senior Services, the State Emergency Management Agency and Missouri's local emergency managers are teaming up to promote Nov. 17 as Winter Weather Awareness Day in Missouri.

According to the Department of Health and Senior Services, there were 15 cold weather-related deaths in Missouri during the winter of 2009-10.
"Missourians know that winter's bitter cold temperatures and icy road conditions can be dangerous," said State Emergency Management Agency Director Paul D. Parmenter. "But by designating Nov. 17 as Winter Weather Awareness Day we're encouraging Missourians to think about safety this winter, and the measures they can take to prepare in advance.”

"Severe winter storms can be extremely dangerous," said Jim Kramper, Warning Coordination Meteorologist with the National Weather Service in St. Louis. "Transportation can come to a standstill and electricity can be out for days often with very cold temperatures. Making preparations now, before the storms hit, can make getting through the storms a lot easier."

Precautions include creating a winter car kit for the trunk of your car, making sure fireplaces and generators function properly, exercising caution when shoveling snow or pushing a car out of snow banks and avoiding unnecessary travel when driving conditions are poor.
It is also important for people to keep up to date on weather forecasts and to understand key National Weather Service terms:

·    Winter Storm Watch indicates that severe winter weather may affect your area within 12-48 hours.

·    Winter Storm Warning indicates severe winter weather is in the area or expected immediately and can be life threatening.

·    Ice Storm Warnings are issued for ice accumulations of a quarter-inch or more.
Missourians can prepare for winter by:


·    Creating a family emergency plan and creating an emergency kit with additional water and food that can be prepared without cooking in case of a power outage.

·    Securing an alternate fuel source such as firewood or a generator. Make sure your fireplace functions properly. If you have a generator, make sure you have fuel, your generator functions properly. Only operate the generator outdoors.

·    Creating a winter car kit in the trunk of the car. This includes a blanket, spare radio with batteries, snacks or energy-type food, jumper cables, flares, shovel, sand or shingles to give tires traction.
Detailed additional information can be found at the following Web sites:
National Weather Service - St. Louis Winter Weather Awareness Page: www.crh.noaa.gov/lsx/?n=winterday SEMA: www.sema.dps.mo.gov (Look for "Winter Awareness Safety Tips" under More Information) Missouri Ready in 3 Program's Weather Preparedness Page: www.dhss.mo.gov/Ready_in_3/WeatherPreparedness.html Missouri Dept. of Transportation's Road Conditions: www.modot.mo.gov FEMA's Winter Awareness Campaign: www.fema.gov/areyouready/winter.shtm National Weather Service - Winter Storms, The Deceptive Killers Brochure: http://www.weather.gov/os/brochures/winterstorm.pdf Missouri Ready in 3 Program also provides free family safety guides to help prepare your family and household: www.dhss.mo.gov/Ready_in_3/R3-FamilySafetyForm.html, or call (573) 526-4768 to order a free family safety guide. The family safety guide is available in several languages. 

You may also contact your local NWS office for interviews about Winter Weather Awareness Day or for additional information:

St. Louis: (636) 441-8467 Kansas City: (816) 540-6021 Springfield: (417) 869-4491 Paducah, Ky: (602) 744-6424

 

  

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For more information, call 573-751-5432 or e-mail mike.o'connell@dps.mo.gov