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Checking ahead is a good idea all year

POSTED February 20, 2012 8:45 p.m.

(EDITOR’S NOTE: This is one in a series of reminders about emergency preparedness.)

As local residents of more than a few years have learned through experience, this time of year can bring almost any sort of weather, and any sort of weather problem.
So it’s an important time to be prepared.
It is that potential for rapid change that causes Emergency Risk Manager Amy Miller to advice residents to keep track of the weather and to be ready to respond to just about any emergency.
What ever weather hits, the needs are somewhat the same, Miller urged. “Preparing for winter weather is not that much different than being prepared the rest of the year,” Miller noted. “Step one is to ‘Get A Kit,’ step two is to ‘Make A Plan’ and step three is to ‘Be Informed.’”
Of course, being informed is especially important when there is a chance that driving is going to involve snow and ice-packed roads, Miller noted.
“During the winter months, individuals are even more concerned about travel conditions.”
But, she added, it’s not a bad idea to check ahead about travel conditions, during the spring storm season as well. 
“Anyone can keep up with road conditions by checking the web site 511.ksdot.org or by dialing 511 on any phone from anywhere in Kansas.
“Local law enforcement officials will often notify their media partners and provide them with road conditions and travel updates.”
Whatever the weather emergency, there are items that are good to have on hand, according to emergency lists.
They include items like:
• Water — at least 1 gallon daily per person for 3 to 7 days
• Food —  at least enough for 3 to 7 days
 • Non-perishable packaged or canned food and juices
 • Foods for infants or the elderly
 • Snack foods
 • Non-electric can opener
 • Cooking tools and  fuel
 • Paper plates and plastic utensils
• Blankets, pillows and other bedding
• Clothing —  seasonal, rain gear, sturdy shoes
• First aid kit , medicines and prescription drugs
• Special items  for babies and the elderly

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