Kansas Division of Emergency Management officials are urging Kansans to prepare for snow and dangerous sub-zero temperatures and wind chills this weekend into early next week. The National Weather Service is forecasting two cold fronts with the first bringing colder temperatures into Kansas Saturday with snowfall accumulations ranging from a quarter inch to an inch and a half. Then dangerously low temperatures are expected to move into much of the state Sunday with winds of 20 to 25 miles an hour and wind chills of 10 to 30 degrees below zero Sunday night through Tuesday morning.

“This is an extremely dangerous forecast and taking precautions to ensure your safety and your family’s safety is essential,” said Maj. Gen. Lee Tafanelli, director of Kansas Division of Emergency Management and adjutant general. “Simply, put, these temperatures and wind chills can be deadly.”

“If you must travel in these conditions, make sure your cell phone is charged, your gas tank is full, and you have plenty of items to help you stay safe if your vehicle stalls or you are in an accident and have to wait for help,” Tafanelli added.

“Make sure your home emergency kit has what you need to survive if there is a power outage in this bitter cold,” Tafanelli said. “This includes blankets, a safe alternate heat source, nonperishable foods and high-energy snacks, bottled water, flashlights, a battery-powered radio, extra batteries, medicines, a first-aid kit and other items for keeping your children and pets comfortable in this situation.”

Outdoor pets are especially vulnerable to bitter cold and extreme wind chills. Bring outdoor pets inside if possible or ensure that they have a draft-free enclosure with straw type bedding that is large enough to sit and lie down, but small enough to hold their body heat if they must remain outside. Always make sure that your pets have access to food and non-frozen water.

For additional pet safety information, go to www.redcross.org and for general winter preparedness information, go to www.ksready.gov.