Be prepared

Most of us are still curious about weather extremes this winter between stretches of cold and warm, and windy and dry. Old Man Winter is finished, but as we enter spring keep in mind that once warm weather arrives for good, so does the peak season for tornadoes and other wild weather in Kansas. Are you prepared for the unthinkable? Tornadoes pack some of the fastest winds on Earth and are deadly to anyone caught in their path. Kansas averages 80 tornadoes per year but has seen up to 187, with the peak tornado season running from April to June. Thunderstorms can produce dangerous weather in addition to tornadoes and floods. Large hail, damaging winds and lightning are all potent and deadly threats.

Do you have access to appropriate shelter if severe weather threatens? Basements and storm shelters are your best, whether they be yours or a neighbor who is willing to share. If you have neither, seek shelter on the lowest level in the center most part of your home. Put as many walls between you and the storm as possible.

Have you prepared an emergency stash of supplies in the event of a disaster—such things as personal medications, clothing changes for two days, toiletries, checkbook and cash, birth certification and other valuable papers, rings, pictures, meaningful books, water?

We haven’t had much reason to think about tornado threats yet. Don’t be caught unprepared. —DR