(EDITOR’S NOTE: This is one in a series of reminders about emergency preparedness.)
It may seem like spring out there, and certainly the days are getting longer, but weather experts warn that it’s still early enough in the year that we could see conditions swing back to dangerously cold just as quickly as they have gotten warm.
While severe weather awareness season is just around the corner, and Kansas has been known to kick in thunderstorms and even tornadoes this early, it’s still rare and more common that we will see yet more winter first.
And, while severe weather at this time of the year usually means ice and snow, Emergency Risk Manger Amy Miller noted that preparations for weather emergencies are similar at all times of the year.
“Preparing for winter weather is not that much different than being prepared the rest of the year,” Miller noted. “Step one is to ‘Get A Kit,’ step two is to ‘Make A Plan’ and step three is to ‘Be Informed.’”
Miller urged that residents educate themselves and make preparations to respond to whatever emergency disrupts everyday life.
“Everyone should have an emergency supply kit which includes such items as non-perishable food, water, a battery-powered or hand-crank radio, flashlight and prescription medications.
“Develop a family emergency plan with an out-of-town contact, subscribe to an alert service (Wichita television stations offer such services) and learn about emergency plans where you and your family spend time: work, recreation and school.
“Prepare yourself and your home by being informed about weather conditions, learn how to shut off your water (in case a pipe bursts) and familiarize yourself with the terms that are used to identify weather conditions — both winter and summer.”
She added that county officials work to provide the information and training that people need to be ready for a weather emergency.
“For more information about being prepared, whatever the time of year, you can visit www.ready.gov, www.ksready.gov or by contacting the Barton County Emergency Management Office at 620-793-1919.”