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Mena, Arkansas, News covering Polk County and the surrounding area

Secondary roads deteriorated quickly as loaded school buses navigated the winter weather to safely return students home.

FEMA notice: Being winter ready can save lives

DENTON, Texas – Nearly three years ago, a severe winter storm brought hazardous conditions to
millions of people across Louisiana, Oklahoma, and Texas, causing widespread disruptions such as
frozen pipes, impassable roads, and power outages.

It marked the coldest winter storm in Texas since 1989, catching many residents off guard. Because
areas in these southern states are not accustomed to these long-lasting severe winter events, many
residents did not know how to stay warm and safe during severe winter weather.

“Winter weather can impact roads, schools, businesses, cause power outages and disrupt our daily
routines,” said FEMA Region 6 Administrator Tony Robinson. “It can also cause serious health
risks, so now is the time to be #WinterReady to help keep you and your families safe.”

FEMA is encouraging everyone to be #WinterReady this year, follow these general winter
preparedness tips to keep your family safe.

Winterize your home
▪ Install weather stripping, insulation, and storm windows.
▪ Insulate water lines that run along exterior walls.
▪ Clean out gutters and repair roof leaks.

Check heating systems
▪ Have your heating system serviced professionally to make sure that it is clean, working properly,
and ventilated to the outside.
▪ Inspect and clean fireplaces and chimneys.
▪ Have a safe alternate heating source and alternate fuels available.
Learn more at January 2024 1
Being #WinterReady Can Save Lives
▪ If you do not have working smoke detectors, install one inside each bedroom, outside each
sleeping area, and on every level of the home, including the basement. Test batteries monthly and
replace them twice a year.

Prepare your vehicle before travel
▪ Get your vehicle ready for cold weather use before winter arrives.
▪ Prepare a winter emergency kit to keep in your car in case you become stranded. The kit
should include:

o Cell phone, portable charger and extra batteries
o Items to stay warm, such as extra hats, coats, mittens, blankets or sleeping bags
o Food and water
o Booster cables, flares, tire pump, and a bag of sand or cat litter (for traction)
o Compass and maps
o Flashlight, battery-powered radio and extra batteries
o First-aid kit

Prepare for emergencies
▪ Be prepared for weather-related emergencies, including power outages.
▪ Stock food that needs no cooking or refrigeration and water stored in clean
containers. ▪ Ensure that your cell phone is fully charged.
▪ When planning travel, be aware of current and forecast weather conditions.

FEMA’s #WinterReady campaign, launched last fall, urges individuals to identify and reduce winter
risks. information on social media using #WinterReady and visit for more details.
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