Severe Weather Awareness week is underway during this first week in March.
The week highlights not only what to do in the event of a tornado or severe thunderstorm, but also to go prepare an emergency kit and identify plans with family members. Riley County Emergency Management Coordinator Laurie Harrison says that kit should be large enough to get you through three days .
Fort Riley Emergency Manager Chris Hallenbeck says for those living on post who may be unfamiliar with Kansas severe weather they are doing Active Army, a proactive community awareness campaign to empower soldiers, families and Army Workforce prepare for all hazard emergencies. Hallenbeck says for their emergency kits, it’s a bit more expanded as well.
Having the ability to get notifications also is key during any severe weather event. Harrison says Riley County residents can sign up for notifications through the Everbridge system, available at rileycountyks.gov.
Hallenbeck says Fort Riley residents also have access to mass notification systems, through the Department of Defense ALERT system.
If you’ve signed up for those notifications, you’re probably also aware of the statewide tornado drill, which takes place at 10 a.m. Tuesday. All outdoor warning systems will be tested. Schools will participate in the drill and business owners and residents are encouraged to take part in it as well.
The National Weather Service is also preparing for severe weather season with a number of community storm spotter classes across the state. Meteorologist Sarah Teefey with the Topeka office says the free classes cover everything from cloud formation to atmospheric processes that fuel storms.
The presentations are about 90 minutes long and will explain methods on how to get notified and the difference between watches and warnings.
In Geary County, the class will take place Tuesday at the 4-H Center, located at 1025 South Spring Valley Road in Junction City. The Pottawatomie County class is Thursday at the Westmoreland 7 Township fire station, at 305 Sixth Street in Westmoreland. Both classes are scheduled for 7 p.m.
The Riley County storm spotter class is at 7 p.m. on March 31 at the Wareham Opera House at 410 Poyntz Ave.
Any time severe weather is in the Manhattan area, News Radio KMAN is live on the air with reports from our anchors in addition to KMAN’s sister stations 101.5 K-Rock, Sunny 102.5, Z-96.3 FM and B-104.7 FM.