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21-031 Plan ahead and be prepared for severe weather

Oct. 13, 2021

While April, May and June are generally known as “tornado season” in Kansas, that does not mean Kansans can relax now that fall is here and winter is two months away.

Severe weather can blow into the state at any time, sometimes with astonishing speed, so it’s important that Kansans stay vigilant and prepared for whatever comes our way -- thunderstorms, straight-line winds, torrential rain, hail, tornadoes, freezing rain, sleet, blizzards. When severe weather is in the forecast, stay tuned to your NOAA weather radio or your local television or radio stations for weather alerts and emergency instructions.

Be weather aware tonight as severe thunderstorms are forecast for the west and central regions of the state with high winds up to 75 mph and large hail being the main concerns. Tornadoes are possible in the northwest, southwest, south central, and northeast regions of the state. In the eastern region thunderstorms are expected late tonight bringing high winds and hail. The possibility of tornadoes cannot be ruled out in the eastern region.

“Staying informed of weather conditions is one of the best things you can do to be prepared,” said Devan Tucking, Recovery Section Chief, Kansas Division of Emergency Management. “If you don’t have a weather radio, download a weather app to your phone that will notify you when severe weather is in your area.”

Start your home preparedness by brainstorming with your family, playing a game of “What do we do if…?” and think about all the possible weather-related emergencies that may occur. Then decide how you will prepare and what you will do if it happens, where you will find shelter, and how you will keep in contact if separated.

The next step is making a home emergency kit that provides all basic essentials for every member of the family to allow survival for at least three days. A home emergency kit should include nonperishable food, water (one gallon per person, per day), medications, extra clothing, flashlights and batteries, battery-operated NOAA weather radio, blankets, and other necessities. If you already have a kit, check the supplies and refresh any outdated food, medicines, batteries and other perishables.

Make sure your kit includes supplies for any pets, including food, water, bedding, medications and other pet essentials.

Avoid travel, if you can, during severe winter conditions. If you must travel, make sure someone knows your itinerary and keep abreast of road conditions along your planned travel route. State road and travel conditions are available at the Kansas Department of Transportation's website -- Impacts to traffic are updated 24/7, including maintenance and construction activities, winter highway conditions, flooded roadways, incidents and crashes affecting traffic and closed highways. You may also call 5-1-1 for Kansas road conditions, outside Kansas call 1-866-511-5368 (KDOT).

For additional information on putting together an home/car emergency kit go to or