Winter Weather Awareness Day is Thursday in Nebraska and Iowa
With the winter months fast approaching, Nebraska is urging its residents to prepare for the cold and snow.
"Mother Nature is the great equalizer," Norfolk Public Safety Director Shane Weidner said. "You have to make sure that you're thinking about circumstances out there because if you're caught out in the cold, it doesn't take long for hypothermia or frostbite to set in, and those can be life-threatening situations."
With many cities across the state saw snow amounts much higher than normal last winter, according to the National Weather Service. Lincoln received over 55 inches of snow last year - more than double the city gets on average. Scottsbluff received a staggering 71.4 inches of snow last Winter. Norfolk was a rare exception, getting about an inch less than normal. But the fact remains that all that snow can make for dangerous driving conditions.
"Most of the time, the number one thing you can do is slow down," Weidner said. "If you need to be out on the road when there's a snowstorm event or Winter weather warning, which we don't recommend, but if you need to be out on the roads, slow down."
In cases of declared snow emergencies or blizzard warnings, it is highly recommended that people do not take to the roads.
"Heed those warnings," Weidner said. "Don't be a lookey-loo and go out and try to challenge the weather. Most of the time, you just become part of the problem."
If you do have to go out in winter weather conditions, however, officials say its best to have a kit ready in case you end up stuck.
"You wanna be prepared," Weidner said. "You want to have an emergency response kit inside your vehicle. Jumper cables, sand, extra blankets, water, candy bars and those type of things that you can live off of."
Weidner said if you do get stranded, you should not leave your vehicle because emergency responders will come to you. He said to have a similar emergency prep kit prepared in case you’re at home and the power goes out for an extended period of time.
According to the National Weather Service, this Winter's temperatures should be close to average, but they are forecasting it will be wetter than normal.