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Johnson County Emergency Management Monitoring Storm; Asking Residents to Prepare

Johnson County officials are closely monitoring the updates for the ice storm expected to reach Johnson County late today (Friday) into Sunday with the heaviest freezing rain expected Saturday night into Sunday.

The National Weather Service has moved the Ice Storm Warning to later today (6 p.m.) and the anticipated precipitation has dropped from a total accumulation of up to an inch of ice to a quarter to half inch.

“While it appears the freezing rain and icing will start later and may not be as much as first thought, the potential for a quarter-inch to half-inch of ice still means dangerous travel conditions and possible power outages, particularly later Saturday night into Sunday,” said Dan Robeson, Emergency Management Coordinator for Johnson County. “We ask residents to be prepared and to limit travel if possible.”

Johnson County Emergency Management staff will be monitoring developments throughout the weekend to keep residents updated and coordinate with partner agencies as needed.

As a precaution, some county events have been cancelled including special events and public programs at the Johnson County Library. This includes Kansas Day on Sat., Jan. 14th. Meals on Wheels Deliveries and Catch-a-Ride services were canceled today. Meals on Wheels and Catch-a-Ride services will resume Tues., Jan. 17.

Johnson County Libraries plan to remain open throughout the weekend and are available as warming centers during regular open hours.

“We encourage residents who need a place to keep warm to consider one of our 13 libraries over the weekend if road conditions allow them to travel,” said Christopher Leitch, Community Relations Coordinator for Johnson County Libraries.

Patrons may call (913) 826-4600 to check hours of operation for their nearest library branch, or visit the library website at www.jocolibrary.org

Johnson County Emergency Management recommends the following actions to prepare for a winter storm:

Power outages preparation

• Charge up cell phones and other items needed to receive and relay information now.
• Use car charger to re-charge items during power outages.
• Use flashlights for emergency lighting and don’t leave candles unattended.
• Keep refrigerator and freezer doors closed. Most food that requires refrigeration can be kept safely in a closed refrigerator for several hours.
• Wear layers of warm clothing.
• Avoid burning charcoal for heating or cooking indoors and avoid using your oven as a source of heat. Only use generators away from your home and never run a generator inside a home or garage, or connect it to your home’s electrical system.
• If the power may be out for a prolonged period, plan to go to another location that has heat to keep warm.

Emergency kits for vehicles and homes recommended

• Car kits should include a cell phone charger, warm blankets, a flashlight, bottled water and non-perishable food items and a first-aid kit.

• Home emergency kits should have enough supplies for each family member to shelter-in-place for up to three days. Items recommended include bottled water, non-perishable food and canned goods, first-aid kit, weather radio, flashlights, batteries, blankets, medical supplies and prescriptions, pet supplies and family entertainment.
Visit joco72.org for information on emergency kits and ready.gov for more power outage guidance.

Sign up for NotifyJoCo alerts

Johnson County residents are encouraged to sign up for emergency alerts at www.notifyjoco.org. Residents may sign up for emergency information for up to five locations in Johnson County such as work, home, child’s daycare or school.

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