In the Golden Belt recently, we’ve gone from warm to cold and from rain to snow, all in the matter of one day., We all know just what can be dished out by Mother Nature. But, as winter fades to spring, the area faces a different kind of weather threat – thunder storms and tornadoes.
The Barton County Commission and even Governor Sam Brownback signed proclamations to mark this past week as Severe Weather Awareness Week. There were storm spotter meetings and a statewide tornado drill.
According to the National Weather Service, 40 tornadoes hit the state in 2014, about 40 fewer than the 30-year average of 80 and the fewest since 1989. There were 27 tornado-related injuries reported, but no fatalities.
The first tornado was reported April 2; the last was on Dec. 14, a reminder that tornadoes can strike any time of the year. The most tornadoes in one day occurred May 11 when nine tornadoes were reported in the state.
Over the years, Miller said there have been tornadoes in every calendar month.
You see, this is not something to be taken lightly and it is not too early to be thinking about the spring storm season.
“This is serious business. Being prepared begins with you,” said Amy Miller, Barton County emergency preparedness director. Take time now to get yourself and your family ready for severe weather by making sure that all of your phone contacts are updated, check your designated tornado shelter in your home to make sure it is cleared out, and check your disaster kits to make sure those supplies are up-to-date. And if pets are part of your family, prepared a disaster kit for them as well.
Miller also reminds folks to check the weather forecast often and be aware of changing conditions. But, we may have sirens and myriad of media sources for weather info, but the biggest thing we can do is exercise common sense.
Also, in the event of a storm, stay out of the way of emergency personnel. Rubber necking and loitering around a storm-ravaged area only hinders their efforts and puts on in danger themselves.
Take care and be prepared. Ultimately, our safety in our hands.
First positive case of COVID-19 confirmed in Barton County