According to the National Weather Service, cold temperatures were a factor in the deaths of three people in Illinois last year.
That's lower than the 10-year national average of 27 fatalities. The Illinois Emergency Management Agency says now is the time for residents to make sure cars and homes are equipped with cold-weather essentials.
Along with the National Weather Service and the American Red Cross, the agency has put together some tips available online at www.Ready.Illinois.gov .
Warning Coordination Meteorologist Chris Miller of the weather service says people should outfit their cars with blankets, non-perishable food, boots and extra clothing.
At home, people should have at least three days' worth of essentials to ride out a storm without power.