Prepare winter emergency kits before severe weather strikes

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FRANKFORT, Ky. (KT) – Parts of central and eastern Kentucky saw their first snowfall of the season, anywhere from 1-4 inches, so it’s appropriate that Dec. 1-7 has been designated Winter Weather Awareness Week in the state.

Each year, dozens of Americans die due to exposure to the cold, according to Kentucky Emergency Management. Even more, winter weather-related fatalities occur in vehicle accidents, fires caused by heaters or due to carbon monoxide poisoning from the improper use of generators during power outages.

“Winter Weather Awareness Week is the perfect time to prepare yourself, families, communities, schools and business for the upcoming winter season,” said Gov. Andy Beshear. “We urge Kentuckians to look out for themselves, their families and their communities during this pandemic to protect one another, and we should all be taking steps now to keep our families safe during extreme weather.”

Some preparation tips from the National Weather Service include:

--Build an emergency kit with a three-day supply of food, water and medicine, along with the essential necessities a family will need in the event of a prolonged power outage when travel may not be possible.

--Know the severe weather risks your community faces and monitor forecasts. When a winter storm is in the forecast, communicate with family members so you know their locations and travel plans. Make sure all family members can get emergency alerts.

--Winterize your vehicles. While the best idea is to stay home during the winter, sometimes that is not possible. Winterize your vehicle now, while the weather is warmer, and keep an emergency kit in your vehicle. Weather conditions can vary greatly within short distances, so make sure to check the forecast and road conditions along your route of travel. Road conditions and additional snow and ice information from the Kentucky Transportation Cabinet can be found at https://transportation.ky.gov/sites/snowky.

“Building a weather-ready community starts at home,” said Michael Dossett, Kentucky Emergency Management director. “One of the most effective ways families can prepare for inclement weather or any disaster event is to build an emergency kit. Follow that activity by making a family emergency plan.”

For additional information and helpful links, you can go to Kentucky Emergency Management’s website at www.kyem.ky.gov.

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