Deep freeze lessens grip, but prepare for more ahead.

Cold weather packed another nasty punch.

For several consecutive days recently, southwest Kansans who had to be outside were blasted with single-digit temperatures and below-zero wind chill. At least they weren't also left to deal with significant, dangerous snow and ice, as has happened recently in other parts of the nation.

And while it was good to see local temperatures climb higher Tuesday, keep in mind the winter season hasn't even arrived.

Winter officially begins Dec. 21. So, expect more bitterly cold temperatures to settle in at some time in the coming weeks, with the prospect of snow and ice only intensifying the deep-freeze conditions.

The recent cold also pointed to the need to make sure those less fortunate are aware of low-income energy assistance programs, and how to access shelter through the Salvation Army when their situations become more dire.

Dangerous cold also threatens people who must work outside, many for long periods at a time. Firefighters and other emergency responders are prime examples.

Then there are those who tend to livestock in this part of the country who cannot afford to take a day off. The Kansas Cattlemen's Association has issued reminders for anyone working to keep animals safe in the cold to also take care of themselves by covering all skin, placing an extra pair of gloves and an emergency kit in their vehicles, and having a charged cell phone at all times.

Consider such cold-weather tips sage advice for anyone who needs to be out and about in the cold, along with making sure someone knows where you are going when traveling, the route and when you plan to be back just in case hazardous conditions lead to a dangerous situation on the road.

In showing us one way weather can be nasty, the recent cold blast brought a timely reminder of the need to take simple steps to stay safe.

While everyone no doubt will be pleased to see temperatures headed upward, it only makes sense to be prepared for when the weather once again takes a turn for the worse.