The National Weather Service and Butler County Department of Emergency Management/Homeland Security announced March 3 through 9 as Severe Weather Awareness Week in Kansas.
The week began with a statewide tornado safety drill.
All across Kansas, each county’s emergency management are participating in the tornado safety drill to prepare for the 2013 severe weather season.
Schools, hospitals, industries, public facilities and citizens are also encouraged to test their readiness should a tornado or severe weather event actually occur.
Local tornado warning sirens, NOAA Weather Radio alarms, and the Emergency Alert System will be activated to signal the start of the drill.
The drill was to test everyone’s readiness for a life threatening severe weather event, such as a tornado.
Other severe weather threats that must also be prepared for include: flash flooding, large hail, lightning and damaging winds.
In addition to this, the annual Storm Spotter and Severe Weather Awareness Training session will be held at 10 a.m. Saturday at the Civic Center, 201 E. Central. It will be presented by the National Weather Service – Wichita.
In 2012, the tornado season began Feb. 28. Unfortunately, one of the eight tornadoes occurring that day struck the town of Harveyville resulting in damage, injuries and one fatality. April 2012 was a record month in terms of tornado count.
The 52 tornadoes logged surpassed the old April re-cord of 46 set in 1964. Forty-three tornadoes occurred on April 14 resulting in 38 injuries.
Questions or comments about tornado and severe weather preparedness or the annual drill should be directed to the Butler County Emergency Management/Homeland Security office at 733-9796 or the National Weather Service – Wichita office at 942-8483.