Forecasters expect a weekend round of winter weather that could make driving difficult.
The National Weather Service office in Pleasant Hill says light to moderate snow is expected Sunday and Monday in western Missouri and eastern Kansas, around 2 inches by Monday night in many places but perhaps 4 inches in some spots.
The Missouri Department of Transportation says it will treat roads and bridges in advance of the storm. MoDOT reminds drivers to keep an eye on changing forecasts throughout the weekend.
Besides MoDOT, public works crews from Independence and Lee's Summit treated roads late this week, applying brine mix on some roads to ward off some snow sticking to the pavement.
Blue Springs does not use a brine mix for early treatment, Communications Manager Miranda Austerman said, as the city's dense service area and fewer lane miles allow generally allow crews to get to streets quickly during snow events. At times, the city could use a salt-based application immediately before a forecasted snow event, she said.
MoDOT posts road conditions on its Traveler Information Map at traveler.modot.org. The map is also available on a free app for Apple and Android devices.
MoDOT also has safety suggestions:
• Buckle up and put your phone down.
• Slow down, and adjust your speed to the conditions. This isn’t the time for cruise control.
• Stay back from snow plows – at least six car lengths.
• If your wipers are on, by law your headlights need to be on as well.
• If you have car troubles or are involved in a wreck, remain in your vehicle.
The expected blast of cold, wintry weather is also a good time to review the basics of readiness for the home and the car.
Start with the car. Experts recommend having jumper cables, a blanket, a radio and a flashlight – and spare batteries for both – a shovel, and snacks or high-energy food. Keep a full tank of gas during cold weather, keep tires well inflated, have the antifreeze checked, and carry some sand for traction.
For the home, consider getting a weather radio, which are also called all-hazards radios. Those can be set to go off when the National Weather Service posts a watch or warning. Also, free smartphone apps from the Red Cross and others can sound the alert.
• Create an emergency kit at home and have a family emergency plan. Have enough food and water for three days, at least. Figure on a gallon of water per person per day. Also: flashlights, radios, batteries, blankets, a way to manually charge cell phones – and a manual can opener.
• Be careful with space heaters. Keep anything that can burn at least 3 feet away, and turn them off when you leave the room. Don’t overload outlets or extension cords.
• Make sure furnaces, fireplaces, wood stoves, generators and kerosene heaters are functioning properly.
There are also preparedness lists and suggestions at a wide variety of places on the internet, including weather.gov, preparemetrokc.org and redcross.org.