Emergency crews are preparing for an upcoming ice storm, and they’re asking St. Louis area residents to do the same.

Inside the Eureka Fire Protection District firehouse off Highway 109, first responders have already added more salt bags to their trucks, and traction grips to their boots. Ahead of the storm, they’ve also decided to add more manpower to cover the weekend.

“We can’t do anything about the weather, but we can do something about our own safety,” said Public Information Officer, Scott Barthelmass.

Firefighters want community members to be preparing themselves, too.

“We want them to really start to think ahead and were about…  24-48 hours out from when the storm is supposed to hit,” he said.

Barthelmass said now is the time to charge cell phones, fuel cars, and make a trip to the grocery store. Anyone taking medication should be sure they have enough to last a few days. A large amount of ice can weigh down powerlines, so Barthelmass warned of possible power outages, too.

First responders recommend people avoid traveling, but realize some don’t have a choice. For anyone planning to drive during the storm, he recommended stocking up on blankets, a shovel and sand or salt. He said it’s a good idea to keep something reflective in the car, in case a driver gets stranded in the dark.

In December, a winter storm left people stranded on the roads for hours.

“What we’d really like to do is see people think ahead,” Barthelmass said. “Prepare themselves. And you know what – come Friday and Saturday -- if the weather is bad, stay home.”