Severe Weather Awareness Week is reminder to get prepared
Jamie Rathbun and a team of her colleagues are on a mission to help individuals and families become as prepared as possible for severe weather that might come their way. And there's no better time, she said, than March 3 to 9, declared Kansas Severe Weather Awareness Week this year by Kansas Gov. Sam Brownback.
By assembling an emergency kit, taking inventory of household possessions, reviewing insurance policies and other steps, the process of recovering from tornadoes, flooding and other severe weather can be eased, said Rathbun, who is a family and consumer sciences agent with K-State Research and Extension in Ellsworth County.
She, along with other Extension agents and specialists around the state, produced, "Get Financially Prepared--Take Steps Ahead of Disaster" available free online at http://www.ksre.ksu.edu/bookstore (Search for MF 3055).
"Last year (Kansas) had a fairly quiet year by severe weather standards, except the deadly tornado that struck Feb. 28 in Harveyville," said Kansas Climatologist Mary Knapp. "That storm was still active into Feb. 29 when it spawned a number of lethal tornadoes in states to the east."
Knapp, who is in charge of the state's Weather Data Library based at K-State, said it's difficult to predict storms more than seven to 10 days in advance, but one place citizens can check is the Storm Prediction Center http://www.spc.noaa.gov, a part of the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration.
"Severe Weather Awareness Week is a good reminder that severe weather is a fact of life in Kansas," she said. "It's also a reminder that an emergency kit is a good thing to have not only in case of late winter and springtime severe weather, but in case there's an emergency any time of year."