With all of our minds still thawing out after the recent winter storms, it may be tough to ponder the upcoming severe weather season. But, it will soon be upon us.
Kansas is going to be hit with a severe storm, tornado, flooding and flash floods. Based on past years, we’ll be hit with severe weather more than once.
Now is the time to prepare.
To urge Kansans to start planning for springtime weather-related emergencies, Gov. Sam Brownback signed Thursday a proclamation designating this coming Monday through Friday as “Severe Weather Awareness Week in Kansas.” The proclamation coincides with the national Severe Weather Awareness Week.
There may even be a test of the storm-warning siren.
According to the National Weather Service, Kansas had 56 tornadoes in 2013, including 15 in one day; 45 of those tornadoes hit in May. However, Angee Morgan, deputy director of the Kansas Division of Emergency Management, said that does not mean May is the most dangerous month for severe weather.
“Our first tornado hit April 7 in Russell County,” said Morgan. “The last one was August 13 in Lane County. That’s 128 days from the first to the last. And although 2013 was the quietest season since 1994, that doesn’t mean this season will be the same. Our advice is to always be prepared.”
Morgan said a home emergency kit should include everything needed for each family member to survive for a minimum of three days without power. Kits should include one gallon of water per person per day; nonperishable, high energy foods; a battery powered NOAA weather radio; flashlights; extra batteries; a safe, alternate heat source; blankets; medications and other essentials. Additional information about preparing an emergency kit may be found online at www.ksready.gov.
Morgan also advised everyone to have emergency plan for their home or place of business and ensure that everyone knows the plan.
This is good advice, even if we still have yet to put away the snow shovels.