Lancaster County Emergency Management
Date: March 14, 2017
For more information contact
Jim Davidsaver, Emergency Management, 402-441-7441
Diane Gonzolas, Citizen Information Center, 402-441-7831
Severe Weather Awareness Week Begins March 27
Public invited to WeatherFest Saturday, April 1
Lancaster County Emergency Management Director Jim Davidsaver today urges all residents to create or review their families' severe weather plans as part of Severe Weather Awareness Week, March 27 through 31. Davidsaver also invited the public to attend the free Central Plains Severe Weather Symposium aka: "WeatherFest" from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. Saturday, April 1 at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln's Innovation Campus. WeatherFest is a community event focusing on severe weather-related issues. WeatherFest Website
"Severe weather season is approaching. Now is a good time to review your family emergency response plan," said Davidsaver. "Your plan should include a location where all family members will report during severe weather." As evidenced by the torrential rainfall and subsequent flooding in early May 2015, tornados should not be the sole focus of our severe weather awareness. A good plan considers all potential emergencies to keep everyone safe. An inexpensive investment which provides a significant measure of safety is a NOAA all-hazards radio. "It will provide the best advanced notice of severe weather and promote seeking shelter in a timely manner," Davidsaver explained.
Davidsaver said while tornados can happen anytime of the year, history shows April, May and June have the most tornado activity. He added the peak timeframe for tornados is 4 to 9 p.m.
Davidsaver thanked the local media outlets whose meteorologists and weather forecasters have been providing severe weather tips in advance of Severe Weather Awareness Week. Lancaster County Emergency Management will participate in the National Weather Service Statewide Tornado Drill on Wednesday, March 29. The National Weather Service will issue a mock tornado watch at 10am followed by a mock tornado warning at 10:30am.
This drill will include activation of Lancaster County's outdoor warning sirens. Davidsaver cautioned that residents should not rely on these sirens for an indoor warning. He said local weather reports and the NOAA all-hazards radio supply the best, most current information. The outdoor warning sirens are designed to be the final warning to seek shelter immediately.
For more information on severe weather preparedness, visit lancaster.ne.gov (keyword: emergency). Follow us on Twitter at LancasterCoEMA.