2018 was a pretty good year, as far as weather disasters go.
Although 45 tornadoes were recorded in the state, there were no deaths attributed to any of these storms. 2017 was even better, with 60 documented tornadoes and no deaths. Credit for these achievements can be attributed in some measure to early warnings, storms spotters and public preparedness.
To remind Kansans to continue their storm vigilance and preparedness, Gov. Laura Kelly will sign a proclamation Friday, March 1, designating March 4-8 as Severe Weather Awareness Week in Kansas. The signing will take place at 9 a.m. in the governor’s ceremonial office at the Kansas Statehouse.
“Each year, spring brings new life to our state but it also brings the potential for disaster and destruction from tornadoes, floods, hail and other forms of severe weather,” said Kelly. “Severe Weather Awareness Week is the ideal time for all Kansans to think about their emergency plans for home and business, to act on those plans and make sure they are ready for whatever comes our way.”
The proclamation highlights the need for awareness of approaching severe weather and the value of emergency preparedness.
“We have seen how being prepared and weather-aware can help reduce storm-related injuries and deaths,” said Angee Morgan, deputy director of the Kansas Division of Emergency Management. “It doesn’t take much time or a lot of money to make a home emergency kit and keeping on top of the weather is as simple as turning on your radio or television when severe weather threatens.”
As part of the week’s activities, Kansans are urged to take part in the statewide tornado safety drill Tuesday, March 5 at 10 a.m. (CST). If severe weather is expected on or around the test time on Tuesday it will be postponed to Thursday, March 7 at 10 a.m. (CST). Also, during the week, KDEM will be doing social media outreach with some preparedness challenges and giveaways
Information on emergency preparedness and building an emergency kit can be found online at to www.fema.gov or www.redcross.org