Residents of Arkansas City should brace themselves as multiple rounds of winter weather are set to affect the area this weekend. An Ice Storm Warning is in effect until noon Jan. 15.
A wintry mix of freezing rain and sleet is likely to accumulate, which could result in hazardous traveling conditions at times, according to City of Arkansas City Emergency Management Coordinator Robert Frazee.
He said one-quarter to one-half inch of ice is possible on trees and power lines in the Arkansas City area.
Experts estimate the greatest risk will be both Jan. 13 and Jan. 14 night across south-central Kansas. Heavy rain is expected Jan. 14 night through Jan. 15, with 1 to 3 inches possible.
“Arkansas City Public Works crews have pre-treated overpasses and bridges,” Frazee said Jan. 12 in an email.
“Buildings and grounds crews have checked stormwater pumps and emergency generators. All snow plows and sand trucks are ready to go.”
Preparing at home
When winter weather is in the forecast, it is a good time to check one’s emergency kit and make sure it is up to date.
Any home emergency kit should include:
- adequate clothing and blankets to keep warm;
- rock salt or more environmentally safe products to melt ice on walkways;
- sand to improve traction;
- snow shovels and other snow removal equipment;
- sufficient heating fuel, such as dry, seasoned wood for a fireplace or wood-burning stove.
One also should plan on having sufficient food and water in case of an extended power outage. The general recommendation is to have on hand 1 gallon of water per person, per day. A minimum supply of three days per person in the household is recommended.
When planning for food supplies, remember to stock a variety of ready-to-eat, nonperishable foods that can be prepared without heat:
- canned meats;
- canned or boxed juices;
- fruits and vegetables;
- granola bars;
- instant soup and cereals;
- peanut butter;
- trail mix;
- any special dietary items you or your family members need.
Preparing in a vehicle
While it is best to avoid travel when winter weather hits, for those who must travel, a winter driving emergency kit is strongly urged.
According to preparedness experts, a driving emergency kit should include:
- battery-powered radio;
- blankets or sleeping bag;
- bottled water or juice and nonperishable, high-energy foods;
- cell phone and charger;
- emergency flares;
- extra clothing, such as boots, gloves and hats;
- first aid kit;
- flashlight or battery-powered lantern, as well as extra batteries;
- ice scrapers and a snow brush (or small broom);
- jumper cables;
- pocket knife;
- spare tire, tire repair kit and pump;
- substances for tire traction, such as road salt, sand or non-clumping cat litter;
- tow chain.
The most important part of traveling during wintry conditions is to drive smart.
Allow plenty of time to reach a destination and be aware of the current conditions.
Those traveling across the state can keep informed of the weather ahead of time by checking the Kansas Department of Transportation website at www.ksdot.org.