Governor will sign Severe Weather Awareness proclamation Feb. 28

“Everybody complains about the weather, but nobody does anything about it.”

That remark by American essayist Charles D. Warner is often attributed to his friend Mark Twain. But no matter who said it first, it is a true statement: We can’t do anything about the weather.

But with good preparation, we can greatly mitigate the effects weather throws at us throughout the year.

To remind Kansans to prepare for the coming severe weather season, Gov. Laura Kelly will sign a proclamation Friday, Feb. 28, designating March 2-6 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.

“There were 85 tornadoes documented in the state last year,” Kelly said. “However, there were no deaths attributed to these storms, which we can credit, at least in part, to early warning, storm spotters and preparedness. I urge all Kansans to keep up the good work in being prepared for severe weather, because we know it is coming.”

The proclamation highlights the need for awareness of approaching severe weather and the value of emergency preparedness.

“The National Weather Service, county emergency management agencies, and local media do a great job of keeping the public informed when severe weather is headed our way,” Angee Morgan, deputy director of the Kansas Division of Emergency Management said. “They also help educate the public on steps that should be taken with regard to severe weather watches and warnings.

“But just knowing what to do isn’t enough,” Morgan said. “You have to actively carry out the steps necessary to make sure you’re prepared: assemble a home disaster kit, formulate a disaster plan and then practice your plan. It doesn’t take much time or a lot of money to make a home disaster kit, and it’s a great investment in your family’s safety.”

As part of the week’s activities, Kansans are urged to take part in the statewide tornado safety drill 10 a.m. (CST) on Tuesday, March 3. If severe weather is expected on or around the test time on Tuesday it will be postponed to Thursday, March 5 at 10 a.m. (CST). Also, during the week, KDEM will be doing social media outreach with some preparedness challenges.

Information on emergency preparedness and building a home disaster kit can be found online at to www.fema.gov or www.redcross.org