Seaman Clipper

Stay safe during severe weather with these tips

Josh Duncan, Staff Writer

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We live in a part of the country where electrifying thunderstorms rumble up above our heads numerous times over the course of every year.  Normally, we might not think much of them. Sure, outdoor plans may be interrupted, but storms do not typically cause some gargantuan disturbance.  Instead, usually some rain falls and the wind picks up a little, but before you know it, the storm has passed.

Unfortunately, it is not always that simple.  Sometimes these storms can be very dangerous, posing a threat to property and possibly even our lives, and they need to be taken seriously.  Some years produce more intense storms than others, of course. And while this year got off to a slow start, we are now right in the thick of severe weather season here in northeast Kansas.

When the conditions are just right, thunderstorms can bubble up quickly, mature into supercells, and make their strike.  At this stage in weather forecasting, no computer model or weather forecaster can tell you exactly when and where a threatening storm will hit, which is why everyone needs to be prepared and have a plan just in case.  And perhaps most importantly of all, stay weather aware at all times.

The ultimate question becomes how one prepares for storms like these.  The first thing you and your family should do is decide whether or not your home is a safe place to be during severe weather and tornadoes.  If it is determined that your house is not an appropriate shelter, then you need to have a plan of where you are going to relocate when the time comes.  Know exactly how long it takes to get to that location, too. You do not want to be caught out on the streets with a tornado chasing you down. It is also a good idea to compile a severe weather safety kit with supplies ranging from bottled water and canned food to a whistle, flashlight, and more.  In addition, be sure to charge up your cell phones, and replace your weather radio batteries if you have one.

All this preparation means nothing if you don’t have a way of receiving weather alerts.  It is very important to set up push notifications on your phone for tornado and severe thunderstorm watches.  Do not rely on just your phone, though. There’s always a chance that problems arise with cell towers or the Internet, so a weather radio is a great backup.  Once a watch is issued, be sure to stay aware of the latest developments and where any storms are tracking. If possible, remain close to a television or radio, and be ready to take action as soon as a warning is issued!

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