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      Officials urge winter preparations

      Amid a late fall cold snap, Missouri officials are advising residents to prepare for winter weather. The State Emergency Management Agency, Department of Health and Senior Services and other agencies are promoting Nov. 20 as "winter weather awareness day." Officials advise assembling separate emergency kits for homes and motor vehicles. The home kit should have bottled water, food that can be prepared during a power outage, flashlights, batteries and a first aid kit. Winter car kits should include a blanket, snacks, jumper cables, a shovel and sand. Motorists should make sure cellphones are charged when driving during winter. Officials also urge people to be careful shoveling snow and to make sure fireplaces, woodstoves and oil heaters are working.