Nov 16, 2021

Buchanan County Emergency Management talks Winter Weather Preparedness

Posted Nov 16, 2021 8:23 PM
Stock photo by Brent Martin.
Stock photo by Brent Martin.


St. Joseph Post

Winter weather will be impacting the Midwest again before long, and area emergency management officials want to make sure people are prepared to deal with colder temperatures and wintry precipitation.

The Missouri Emergency Management Agency has partnered with the National Weather Service to promote Winter Weather Preparedness Week across the state through November 19.

Buchanan County Emergency Management Director Bill Brinton says this time of year is the perfect time to make sure your home, your vehicle and your family are ready to get through winter safely.

"Well, it's a time for people to start preparing themselves," Brinton said. "Get their vehicles checked and make sure they have good tires. Make sure they have an emergency kit in the back of their vehicle. Make sure they have enough fuel or whatever else in case they get stranded. Just prepare themselves for winter and cold weather."

Brinton says the county takes this time to review their emergency management operations plan, and work closely with the Buchanan County Road and Bridge Department while getting ready for winter weather.

"We have an emergency operations plan," Brinton said, "and we review it. (Roads and Bridges) has two district barns - an eastern district barn and a western district barn. As they prepare for winter and check their vehicles and things like that, it's a team effort with everybody and with all of our different agencies we work with to deal with bad weather."

Brinton says he also works closely with and "shares information all the time" with St. Joseph's city emergency manager, Bill Lamar during the winter time.

They also work with the Missouri State Highway Patrol, who reported over 5,500 vehicle crashes in Missouri in 2020 where snow or ice were factors. Those crashes resulted in 1,698 injuries and 26 deaths.

Brinton says one should always check the local weather forecast before getting on the road during winter. If one must travel during adverse winter conditions, Brinton says your vehicle's emergency kit should include several different things.

"A person should have a blanket, and you should carry a small shovel around or a certain amount of salt in case you get stuck," Brinton said. "They should have maybe some non-perishable food things, and when they're going somewhere, make plans to be able to travel to that location safely."

Winter in northwest Missouri is expected to be colder and drier than normal, with below normal snowfall expected further north and above normal snowfall expected further south.

Brinton says the Buchanan County Emergency Management Office works closely with the National Weather Service office in Kansas City/Pleasant Hill to get the latest forecast information and to know if and when any advisories or warnings will be put out.

"So we work with the weather service and the local media to try and be aware of what's going on," Brinton said. "We do check with the National Weather Service often and make our plans from there."

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