SPRINGFIELD, Mo. — As severe winter weather sweeps across southwest Missouri and beyond, some area residents and visitors to the area are advised to prepare for inclement weather or potentially change plans.

The Missouri State Highway Patrol is suggesting that drivers stay off of the roads today as much as possible. However, if you are still planning on traveling for Christmas, be sure that you properly plan to help ensure you get to where you’re going safely.

Traveling by car

In Springfield, temperatures are forecasted to stay below 30 degrees until after Christmas. With Thursday’s snow and the freezing temperatures in the next couple of days, drivers should take extra caution when taking on winter trips.

Before you head out, check the Missouri Department of Transportation Traveler Information map to plan your route. The map shows live-updated road conditions, closures, and traffic density. Most states have similar maps from their departments of transportation.

Those who still plan on taking on their road trips — whether your destination is the county over or across state lines — should pack simple emergency supplies before they do so. This includes a blanket, first-aid kit, water, non-perishable food, and so on. Pack everything you might need if you found yourself stranded during your trip for an hour or two.

Watch KOLR10’s coverage of the Missouri State Highway Patrol’s suggestions for safe winter driving below.

Before you head out, make sure that your vehicle has everything it needs to take on the trip safely.

Traveling by air

Airports around the county are beginning to cancel flights due to the winter weather. If you’re flying out of Springfield, you can check the Springfield-Branson National Airport website to see flight statuses more than a day ahead of time.

Some airlines are offering vouchers before flights in anticipation of cancellations. Some offer refunds for canceled flights. Contact the airline or service you purchased your ticket through to see your options.