Ice scrapers and gloves are obvious winter necessities. But some local pros say kitty litter and peanut butter and jelly can be helpful additions to any cold-weather arsenal.
Kitty litter? It's a quick fix for getting traction on icy sidewalks, said Linda Cottin, owner of Cottin's Hardware and Rental, 1832 Mass.
"If you're going to throw down something for traction, you should throw down sand or kitty litter," Cottin said.
And PBJs? They don't require electricity to prepare, so they'll come in handy if the power goes out, Cottin said.
The overnight storm sent a shiver of worry across the region Monday, and the Journal-World gathered advice from those seasoned in prepping and coping with winter's wrath.
For the car, the Kansas Department of Transportation suggests packing a survival kit with items including matches, a flashlight, jumper cables, blankets, a first aid kit and salt.
"If you slide somewhere, and you get stuck, you can put that salt down under your tires to get out," said Kim Qualls, KDOT public affairs manager. "The tires react with the salt, and between the friction of the tire and salt, it'll help start melting the ice."
Lt. Kari Wempe of the Douglas County Sheriff's Office said motorists should keep their gasoline tanks at least half full. And hats, gloves, dry foods, and a cell phone and charger are must-haves in the car.
At home, the biggest concerns when a storm hits are heat, light and food, Cottin said.
She suggested having a heat source such as a wood stove or kerosene heater, foods that don't require a stove to prepare, flashlights with fresh batteries, and candles.
When the bad weather comes, motorists caught on the roads should take extra precautions, said Jim Hanni, executive vice president for AAA Kansas.
"We don't drive on ice every day so we're not as used to it," he said. "It's just very difficult to maintain control of the vehicle."
Wempe suggested using extra caution on bridges and overpasses. And, she said, motorists should remember that four-wheel drive won't help on ice.
Care in your car
On its Web site, the Kansas Department of Transportation offers these tips for motorists stranded in a winter storm: Don't panic; stay in your vehicle; keep fresh air circulating; keep active; turn on your dome light; and don't allow all occupants to sleep at the same time.
The latest information on road and weather conditions is available by calling 511.
Drivers heading out in less-than-ideal conditions should tell someone the route they plan to take, according to Lt. Kari Wempe of the Douglas County Sheriff's Office.