Mon. Dec 4th, 2023
The State Emergency Management Agency is teaming up with the National Weather Service to promote winter weather preparedness.
During the week, next Monday through Friday, the goal of the preparedness week is to spread awareness about how to keep yourself safe during inclement weather with a different theme for each day of the week.
Monday will focus on winter weather terminology. Tuesday will focus on Ice Safety. Wednesday will focus on snow safety. Thursday will focus on extreme cold, hypothermia and frostbite. And Friday will focus on planning for snow, ice and cold.
Several tips to help Missourians navigate during winter and winter weather can be found below:
To help Missourians prepare and stay safe during the winter months, the National Weather Service (NWS) and State Emergency Management Agency (SEMA) are partnering to promote Nov. 6 – 10, 2023, as Winter Weather Preparedness Week in Missouri.
“Being prepared is the best way to protect yourself and your families during the winter months. We encourage all Missourians to take this time to plan ahead and prioritize safety,” SEMA Director Jim Remillard said. “Have an emergency kit in your vehicle, commit to avoiding travel during inclement weather, understand the risks of prolonged exposure to the cold, and review additional steps you can take to ensure a safe and healthy winter season – both at home and on the road.”
SEMA and NWS Forecast Offices serving Missouri will be sharing winter weather safety messaging via social media throughout the week. Each day will focus on a different theme:
Often, too little attention is paid to the danger posed by prolonged exposure to the cold. According to the Department of Health and Senior Services, 52 people died in Missouri as a result of low body temperatures due to prolonged exposure to cold weather in 2022.
Protect against frostbite and hypothermia by wearing warm, loose-fitting clothing in several layers. Avoid alcohol, limit time spent outdoors in frigid temperatures and stay indoors if possible. Find more information on hypothermia and nearby warming center locations on the DHSS website at health.mo.gov/living/healthcondiseases/hypothermia/.
Road safety is also a concern during the winter months. According to preliminary results provided by the Missouri State Highway Patrol, there were more than 7,500 vehicle crashes in Missouri in 2022 in which snow, sleet, hail or ice were factors, which resulted in 1,969 injuries and 51 deaths.
Even if not directly involved in a crash, an accident blocking the roadway could cause other drivers to be stranded for hours. Avoiding non-essential travel during winter storms is one of the best ways to reduce the chance of becoming stranded or involved in a crash. It also allows snow removal crews to clear the roads faster and first responders to get to crashes more quickly.
Missourians should also consider these winter weather preparedness tips:
For more winter weather preparedness tips, including safe driving techniques and avoiding injury while shoveling, please visit mo.gov/winter-weather-safety/.