Although some days it may not seem like it, spring is on its way and with it the prospect of severe weather, including thunderstorms, hail, tornadoes, and floods.
To remind Kansans to prepare for the severe weather season of April, May and June, Gov. Laura Kelly will sign a proclamation Feb. 24 designating March 6-10 as Severe Weather and Flood Safety Preparedness Week in Kansas. The signing will take place at 10:30 a.m. in the governor’s ceremonial office in the Kansas Statehouse.
"Last year, there were 56 documented tornadoes in Kansas,” Governor Kelly said. “Fortunately, there were no deaths attributed to tornadoes in the state, due in part to our early warning, storm spotter, and emergency preparedness systems. I urge all Kansans to ensure they are prepared in case severe weather comes their way and remain vigilant during the coming months.”
Kelly also credited the information and education efforts of the Kansas Division of Emergency Management, the National Weather Service, county emergency management agencies, and media partners.
“It is the cooperative efforts of state and local agencies, the media and the citizens of Kansas that help mitigate injuries and deaths from tornadoes and other disasters,” said Angee Morgan, deputy director of the Kansas Division of Emergency Management. “As always, we remind Kansans to make sure their home and vehicle emergency kits are up to date and that everyone in their family or business knows their emergency plan.”
There will be a statewide tornado drill Tuesday March 7, at 10 a.m. Citizens, schools and business are encouraged to practice severe weather sheltering plans at this time. In the event of inclement weather on March 7, the drill will be cancelled.
During the week, the KDEM Facebook page will focus on a different preparedness topic: Monday, preparedness; Tuesday, tornadoes; Wednesday, lightning; Thursday, hail/wind; Friday, floods. The site will also feature volunteer spotlights, giveaways, and activities to encourage emergency preparedness.
Information on emergency preparedness and building a home disaster kit can be found online at www.fema.gov or www.redcross.org.