03/31/2015

Be Prepared for Severe Weather

With the spring severe weather season upon us, the Cherokee County Sheriff’s Office and the Cherokee County Office of Emergency Management would like to remind residents to be aware of weather forecasts and ever changing weather patterns.

Thunderstorms, whether they produce a tornado or not, can be dangerous, because of lightening, hail, winds and flash flooding.

Residents are encouraged to be prepared and have a multi-tiered, integrated approach towards storm safety.  Some helpful tips include:

  • Monitor a NOAA weather radio for up to date information from the National Weather Service
  • Text your Cherokee County zip code to 888777 for weather related text alerts (standard text rates apply).
  • Practice a tornado drill with your family. Don’t wait until the sirens sound to formulate a plan.
  • Remember that outdoor warning sirens are meant to alert those who are outdoors. Most likely, you will not hear them if you are inside of your home.
  • Have a ‘survival kit’ ready, with a flashlight, batteries, prescription medication, battery operated radio, first aid kit, cell phone solar charger etc…
  • Know the nearest storm shelter in your community and the rules under which they operate (shelters are not maintained or operated by the county, but rather by each specific organization, for example, school, city, church, etc…)
  • Do not drive across flooded roadways.

In addition, it’s important to know the difference between a watch and a warning.  A watch is issued whenever conditions are favorable that a storm (severe thunderstorm, tornado, etc..) may develop.  It does not mean that severe weather is imminent.  Warnings, however, mean that the severe weather is imminent and specific criteria and existing reports have been received by the National Weather Service.

For additional information, please visit the Cherokee County Emergency Management Office website at: www.cherokeecountyks.gov or the Cherokee County Sheriff’s Office at: www.cherokeecountykssheriff.com.