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Its storm season, time to be aware
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Being aware and being prepared for severe weather is an important action for everyone, according to Amy Miller, Barton County emergency management director.
Her advice was part of County Administrator Richard Boeckman’s update on the activities of county departments given during Monday morning’s Commission meeting.
Individuals with smart phones can now download the Tornado Warning and Alert application from the American Red Cross. The app provides prioritized actions for before, during and after a tornado even though you may not have mobile connectivity.
In addition, it allows you to sign up for tornado warnings that will provide an audible alarm even if the app is closed. To get the app for a mobile phone, call “**REDCROSS” (**73327677) and you will be sent a link to download it. Or it can be downloaded directly from iTunes or Google Play app stores.
In addition, Miller said the  National Weather Service provides weather information through the NOAA All Hazards Weather Radio. NOAA Weather Radio, “the voice of the National Weather Service” is a service of the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) of the U.S. Department of Commerce.
These radios provide continuous broadcasts, 24 hours a day, of the latest weather information from local National Weather Service offices. Weather messages are repeated every four to six minutes and are routinely updated every one to six hours or more frequently if weather condition or other hazardous conditions exist.
The regular broadcasts are specifically tailored to weather information needs of the people within the service area of the transmitter. Individuals are able to customize what area or areas, such as a county, they can received on a radio.
Weather radios are available with a variety of functions and prices. Go online to for more information on this nationwide network of radio stations. One can also go to and find a link on the Be Prepared page of the Emergency/Risk Management Department.
Television, radio, and other media outlets also offer weather alerts. Some of the services are free and some are available for a yearly charge.
Anyone with other preparedness questions can call the Emergency Management Office at 620-793-1919.

 Clark Rusco, County Engineer
• The engineering technician met with Contractor concerning road damages on Dundee-Heizer Road.
• Met with a consultant concerning the Tenth Street bridge over the Flood Protection Project.
• Met with a consultant concerning the Kansas Department of Transportation High Risk Rural Roads signing grant.
• Met with Brock Emmert, a Wetland Advisor for Barton Lake, to review the proposed township road project south of the lake. The township will begin work on the township road at the south boundary.
 • Met with a KDOT Bridge Inspector. KDOT audits 10 percent of the bridges in Barton County every other year. KDOT will use the County’s GPS camera for pictures of bridges to be included in their report. The county reviewed maintenance items on the listed bridges and will incorporate into the final bridge maintenance listing.
• Met with Dale Phillips and Beaver Township officials concerning the drainage culvert size for an entrance off of the township road.
• Began preparing grant applications for the KDOT HRRR program. Grant applications are due in July.
Records Management
 A woman from Oregon, a self proclaimed “full time tourist,” stopped at the courthouse as she was traveling through Great Bend. The woman told Records staff that she had not seen very many white courthouses and wanted to see what the interior looked like so she stopped for a visit.
She commented on how beautiful the City of Great Bend was and that she “loved” the courthouse. After her stop at the courthouse she planned on stopping at the Barton County Historical Society.
The “full time tourist” has been doing this for eight years and stopped in Great Bend after visiting the Oz Museum and Oz Winery in Wamego. She planned on heading to Russell after her Great Bend and Barton County stops.

Information Technology Director John Debes
• Monitoring the TTC, exchange servers and sonic wall firewall continues. During this period, there were 5,185 spam messages, 64 viruses and four spyware attempts stopped.
• Nex-tech will install the new phones in the Health Department first next week, followed by installation at the courthouse. Plans are to complete the switch to Nextech by July 10.
• Installed the new Crossmatch terminal (finger print machine) at the Sheriff’s Office. Officers report it works well.
• Nex-tech has connected a high speed fiber to the Communications building. This should be connected to the Courthouse by June 24.