Two Wyandotte County Sheriff’s Deputies killed in the line of duty honored

Metro experts say layers are the trick to staying warm when temperatures drop

KANSAS CITY, Mo. -- Many of us bundle up to run from our cars to our desks. But if you work out in the elements, you don't have that luxury.

There are many workers who brave the cold every day.

“I know guys that will wear panty-hose underneath their clothes because of the warmth of it,” said Don Kessinger, Grandview's parks maintenance supervisor.

The men and women who keep the metro running said you never really get used to the cold, but you learn to dress for it.

“My least favorite element is wind, especially as a roofer," said Ryan Minnick, the service director for J.R. and Company Roofing Contractors. "You just gotta bundle up. It's layers -- your head, hands and feet."

“About the only time we go in is maybe like a couple weeks ago when it got down to minus digits," Kessinger said. "We try to find inside projects for them, but the rest of the time we're outside."

Those who are out in the elements every single day are firm believers in layers.

“We are responsible for anything that is in the parks, anything from picking up trash, mowing -- this time of year we have bathrooms that freeze up,” Kessinger said.

Kessinger is an Eagle Scout, and to be prepared he said he always wears a hoodie or hat and always carries three pairs of gloves.

“I have a real thin pair where I can feel my fingers," he said. "If I'm driving or working on something heavy, I have a leather pair, and I have an insulated pair that I wear for like shoveling snow and stuff like that. During the winter time, I wear work boots that are GORE-TEX-lined so my feet don't get wet. And in real cold weather, I'm a firm believer in running pants because you can get them on underneath your jeans.”

He said when you're outside all the time, it doesn't take long to figure out what works and what doesn't work. Most of it is trial and error.

“We're still seeing every day, customers coming in, getting cold weather gear, jackets, hats, and gloves," said Joe Barton, director of the Academy Sports and Outdoors store in Overland Park. "The weather kind of changes in Kansas a lot, so we still get customers coming in every day. We sell the Carhartt-type jackets, or heavy duty jackets. People who work outdoors can get those. We also have thick boots that would help them also -- a lot of wool socks and stuff to help for the elements outside.”

Some believe there are other ways to deal besides the heavy duty clothing.

“As long as you've got the camaraderie of some good coworkers, it goes well,” Minnick said.

Before Thursday's temperatures take a dive and send Kansas City into another arctic stretch, be sure to download Fox 4's news and weather apps to get the latest information.