Jefferson City Today, Governor Mike Parson signed Executive Order 22-02 declaring a State of Emergency in Missouri and activating the Missouri National Guard in preparation for the severe winter storm forecasted to affect most of the state over the next two days, including significant accumulations of snow, sleet, and ice.
"Severe winter weather isn't something we are strangers to here in the State of Missouri, but we must be prepared for the worst," Governor Parson said. "By signing this Order, we enable our emergency management professionals to have every tool and resource available to aid Missourians, protect lives, and respond to this winter storm. We encourage all Missourians to be vigilant and take precautions to avoid hazardous road conditions and keep themselves and their families safe."
Executive Order 22-02 activates the State Emergency Operations Plan, which allows state agencies to assist local jurisdictions with emergency preparation and response. In anticipation of potential travel disruptions, members of the Missouri National Guard are activated to be positioned around the state and assist the Missouri State Highway Patrol with stranded motorists if the need arises.
More than half of the state is currently under a Winter Storm Warning. Wintry precipitation is forecasted to begin in northern Missouri by early Tuesday evening and spread southeastward through the night and into early Wednesday. The National Weather Service is forecasting central Missouri could see localized amounts of 8-15 inches in accumulation.
The Missouri State Emergency Management Agency continues to work closely with the National Weather Service (NWS), the Missouri Department of Transportation (MoDOT), and the Missouri State Highway Patrol to coordinate response as well as plan for potential resource requests. The State Emergency Operations Center will activate at a Level 3 at 5 p.m. tonight, with key personnel on duty overnight, including an embedded NWS meteorologist.
A list of precautionary measures Missourians should take to stay safe during extreme winter weather is below:
- Follow their local weather forecast for updates, along with news coverage of local conditions and the MoDOT Traveler Information Map.
- Avoid travel if at all possible over the next couple days.
- If travel is necessary, allow extra time, slow down, and increase following distance. Ensure the gas tank is full, dress appropriately for the conditions, and have an emergency kit that contains snacks, water, phone chargers, blankets, flashlights, etc.
- If stranded, plan for potential response delays. Stay in the vehicle while waiting for help.
- Beware of black ice, particularly on bridges and overpasses as well as other elevated surfaces.
- Regularly check on the elderly and those who may need additional help.
Executive Order 22-02 will terminate on March 3, 2022, unless otherwise extended. For more information and to view Executive Order 22-02, click here.