Emergency Management observes Severe Weather Awareness Week

John Richmeier
The Leavenworth Times

This week is recognized in Kansas as Severe Weather Awareness Week.

And Leavenworth County Emergency Management Director Chuck Magaha said it is important for people to know the severe weather plans for the places such as where they work, go to school and worship. He said it also is important for people to have plans for their own homes.

“Just make sure you know the plan,” he said.

A statewide tornado drill is planned for 10 a.m. today, and Leavenworth County Emergency Management officials will be sounding the county’s outdoor warning sirens.

Magaha said the sirens are intended to be an alert system for only people who are outdoors. And people who hear the sirens should tune in to other sources such as television, radio or the internet for more information about what is happening.

Magaha said people also can purchase weather alert radios.

He said there are a number of apps for smartphones that can provide notification about severe weather.

He said people in Leavenworth County also can sign up for the AlertSense program which provides mass notification about severe weather and local public safety issues.

People can sign up for AlertSense by visiting the Leavenworth County Sheriff’s Office website, www.lvsheriff.org, or going to public.alertsense.com/SignUp

Magaha said tornadoes can happen any time of the year, but tornado activity tends to increase between mid-March and the end of June. And May and June generally are the months with the highest number of tornadoes.

Magaha said there are other severe weather threats in Kansas including lightning, hail and flooding.

He said thunderstorms in Kansas can produce winds of 70 to 90 mph.

He said lightning can strike up to 10 miles away from the location of a storm. He said people should wait at least 30 minutes after a thunderstorm has passed before going outside.

Magaha said it is important for people to pay attention to the weather forecast as they travel from home.

“Understand what is going to happen throughout the day,” he said.

Magaha also recommends people put together 72-hour kits with items they may need for up to three days following a disaster. He said these items may include medications and enough water to supply one gallon per day for each person in a household.

Throughout the week, Leavenworth County Emergency Management officials will be posting information about Severe Weather Awareness Week on social media.

“People can follow us on Facebook,” Magaha said. “We’ll have different weather information.”

Leavenworth County Emergency Management’s Facebook page can be found at www.facebook.com/lvcokansaseoc. And people can follow Emergency Management on Twitter at twitter.com/lvcountyeoc?lang=en.

Twitter: @LVTNewsJohnR