Lancaster County Emergency Management Director Doug Ahlberg today urged all residents to create or review their families' severe weather plans as part of Severe Weather Awareness Week March 22 through 28. Ahlberg also encouraged the public to attend the free severe weather symposium "WeatherFest" from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. Saturday, March 27 at Hardin Hall, 3301 Holdrege. WeatherFest is a family event focusing on weather-related issues.
"Flashlights and a battery-operated radio are essential tools to include in a family's severe weather activity kit," said Ahlberg. "But they are just ingredients that families should include in their overall severe weather plan. A good plan should include a location where all family members will report in the event of severe weather activity such as a tornado. And like any emergency response plan, reinforcing it on an annual basis is very important."
Ahlberg said having a NOAA all-hazards radio to stay abreast of potential severe weather gives families the best possible chance of reacting and seeking shelter in a timely manner.
Ahlberg said tornados can happen anytime of the year, but April, May and June historically have the most tornado activity. He said tornados are most likely to occur between 4 and 9 p.m.
Ahlberg thanked the local media outlets whose meteorologists and weather forecasters have been providing severe weather tips in advance of Severe Weather Awareness Week. For the month of March only, the local monthly test of the severe weather notification system was postponed from the usual first Wednesday of the month to Wednesday, March 24 to coincide with Severe Weather Awareness Week.
This test includes the testing of outdoor warning sirens. Ahlberg said that citizens should not rely on these sirens as a substitute for an indoor warning, adding that local weather reports and the NOAA all-hazards radio supply the best, most immediate information. The outdoor warning sirens are designed to be the final warning to seek cover immediately.
For more information on severe weather preparedness, visit the City Web site at lincoln.ne.gov (keyword: emergency).