In the event of a tornado, preparedness is key for survival. Severe Weather Awareness Week in Kansas has arrived. Our weather pattern here in the Sunflower State can quickly switch to a violent one. So it is important to know how to get warnings, what you need to have, and where you need to go if there is an emergency.
One way to receive warnings is not enough. You need multiple ways. This includes a phone, TV, and a NOAA weather radio. The more ways that you can receive warnings, the better. Start by staying in the know by watching KSN News 3 days before an event. Once we get to the day of expected severe weather, you will want to tune in through the day for storm coverage. If you will not be near a TV, the KSN Storm Track 3 Weather App has everything that you need to stay safe. You will get weather alerts and will have the power of Storm Tracker Radar in the palm of your hands. It is always free to download on all Android and Apple devices. In a worst-case scenario and you have to take shelter, keep your mobile device with you and you can still watch storm coverage live through our livestreaming at https://www.ksn.com/live-video/.
If you have to seek shelter, a basement or cellar is best. If you do not have either, then go to a central room on the lowest floor with no windows.
If you are outside, you should seek a sturdy shelter immediately. If you are in a vehicle, you need to get to the nearest shelter. Finally, mobile homes are never safe and you should seek sturdy shelter as quickly as possible.
Once you are all set up with alerts and knowing where you need to take shelter, it is time to make sure that you have everything you need to be prepared for and survive a tornado. The first thing you need to have is not material, it is a sit-down with your household discussing your safety plan and where you will take shelter. You also want to have supplies and necessities like non-perishable foods and water in your shelter if disaster strikes. Some items that you may not think of but are invaluable are a pair of shoes, blankets/pillows, and even warm clothes. Keep shoes in your shelter because you do not know if you will have to walk through debris and may not have enough time to grab them in an emergency. Blankets/pillows are good for protection from falling debris. Sometimes temperatures can drop drastically after severe storms roll through, so warm clothes would not be a bad idea. Historically, there have even been reports of snow the day after a tornado strikes. Lastly, we are still in a pandemic so it would be good to have masks and hand sanitizer, too.
You can hear more about tornado safety on KSN News at 10 p.m. Monday night. A Towanda resident explains how a historic tornado has impacted her family to this day. Below is a picture of the funnel cloud.
– Meteorologist Ronelle Williams