Frankfort, KY (STL.News) Gov. Andy Beshear said Kentucky Emergency Management (KYEM) activated its State Emergency Operations Center (SEOC) at 7 a.m. at Level 4 operations.

Operations consist of KYEM personnel monitoring the weather system along with critical Emergency Support Function (ESF) partners for transportation, law enforcement, power and utilities.

KYEM and the Governor urge all Kentuckians to stay tuned to their local media for information on weather watches and warnings.  This winter storm is forecast to produce freezing rain, sleet, snow and ice, depending on which area of Kentucky you reside in and work.

“We ask Kentuckians to be cautious of roadway conditions that will be hazardous in some areas.  Please stay off roadways unless necessary,” Gov. Beshear said.

KYEM reports that black ice and icing on overpasses will occur, causing hazardous driving conditions.

“If you must travel, please reduce your speed, give yourself extra time and check road conditions before you leave at GoKY.ky.gov,” KYEM Executive Director Michael Dossett said.

Icing is projected with this storm, which could cause downed power lines and power outages.  If possible, prepare for the need to use an alternate source of heat.  KYEM provides tips to follow if your home loses power:

  • Be aware of the dangers of alternate heat sources and carbon monoxide poisoning.  Generators, camp stoves or charcoal grills should always be used outdoors and at least 20 feet away from windows.
  • Never use a gas stovetop or oven to heat your home.  Visit http://www.cdc.gov/co/guidelines.htm for more information.
  • If you experience a downed power line or power outage, please contact your local utility company.  They will be able to provide you with information on the duration of your outage.  Stay away from downed power lines or broken utility lines.
  • Kentuckians are encouraged to have winter weather emergency car/home kits ready and to include pets in planning.  Visit https://www.ready.gov/winter-weather for more complete information on winter weather readiness.

“Lastly, be a good neighbor,” Director Dossett said.  “Check on your neighbors, family and friends during any emergency.”

Tuesday, the Kentucky Transportation Cabinet (KYTC) said highway snow-fighters were preparing for a major winter storm packing damaging ice ahead of snow and possibly bitter cold that will affect road conditions across the state.  To read more about efforts to clear roadways, read the KYTC release.

The Kentucky State Police also issued a winter weather driving video that focuses on black ice, which is expected to be a significant factor with this storm.