Created Monday, March 4th, 2024. Updated Friday, June 27th, 2024 @28.

Information obtained from the NOAA and the NWS.

At the creation of this page, it was the beginning of Severe Weather Preparedness Week in Kansas and Missouri, and possibly other states in the US.

Severe weather is an element of nature that impacts us all, and without any warning can turn your life around.

This week is dedicated to promoting the awareness of severe weather and what to do in the event that you and your family are at risk.

Monday - Information Dissemination

The most important thing about any severe storm, or any other kind of natural phenomena, is knowing about it.

Lack of information can cause serious harm, or in worse cases, death.

You can obtain information pertaining to the weather from many different sources:

• TV, from local (OTA) broadcasts, satellite/cable broadcasts

• Online, from local news sites, weather sites such as

• Radio, from local news stations

If you aren't keeping tabs on these sources, there is one last emergency source of information that will make itself apparent to you if you are in imminent danger: the EAS and WEA.

These sources are mostly associated with Watches and Warnings from the National Weather Service (NWS), with the WEA also associated with AMBER alerts.

Messages sent through the EAS are received with analogue sources, mainly radio and TV, while WEA is associated with mobile phones.

The best way I use to stay informed is having access to radio and a mobile device.

Mobile devices, even if one on hand isn't WEA-capable or is not part of a cellular plan, can still access sources from the Internet, and typically come installed with a weather app capable of showing alerts.

As with radio, you can purchase specialized weather radios that receive information directly from a local NWS office.

Not only is it capable of triggering an alarm when an alert is received, but it also gives information about the current conditions and forecast.

Unlike a smartphone, a weather radio doesn't use much power (there are some radios that can be hand-cranked).

They can be left on in the corner plugged in to the wall, so that when an alert is sent, you'll be able to receive it without having to check in.

This concludes this article. Stay tuned for the next few days.

Tuesday - Lightning Safety

A common component of storms is lightning. Lightning is very deadly, and you are more likely to be struck by lightning than winning the lottery.

The critical thing to do when its starts to thunder is to be indoors or, if you have to, under a shelter with a solid metal roof if you're outdoors, such as a car.

If you want to make plans, make sure to look at the forecast or listen to your weather radio if you have one.

During a severe lightning storm, especially if the area surrounding your house has been struck, you should stay away from anything connected to power and cable lines.

You should also stay away from water or plumbing lines, as well as high places and open areas if you are outside.

Wednesday - Tornado Safety

Tornadoes are one of the most well-known scourges of nature. At their weakest, they may just strip a few branches, but at their strongest, they can lift strong-frame houses off of their foundation.

The highest wind speeds that the strongest-rated tornadoes can achieve is over 300 miles per hour (482 kilometers). A storm capable of producing tornadoes will be under a Tornado Watch, so if you are under one, prepare for the worst.

The safest place to be if a tornado is in the area is a basement or storm shelter. With weaker tornadoes, an interior room such as a closet can also keep you safe, but it's much better to be in a basement or storm shelter.

Alternatively, if there is no active Tornado Warning or Tornado Emergency, and you have the ability to do so, get out of the way of the storm.

Always bring your medical kit with you to your shelter, as well as a flashlight, weather radio, batteries, and protective gear.

If you have to walk out in the aftermath of a tornado, wear pants, long-sleeved clothing, and hard shoes or boots.

This video is a recording of TV station KFOR's coverage of the Moore, Oklahoma EF5 tornado in 2013. I highly recommend watching it as it shows how damaging a tornado can be, and it contains critical advice from the reporters.

YouTube: Moore, OK Deadly Tornado from KFOR live broadcast (May 20, 2013)

Thursday - Wind and Hail Safety

Wind is generally not a problem, but if speeds are high enough, such as from a severe thunderstorm or a strong weather system, they can cause damage.

Speeds sustained at 40-50 miles per hour (64-80 kilometers) can cause isolated damage. In strong storms, straight line wind speeds can exceed 100 miles per hour (160 kilometers).

With high wind speeds, loose items can be blown far away from their original spot. Rubbish bins can be blown into streets, and semitrucks can be knocked over.

If high wind speeds are expected, you should secure loose items and stay away from windows. If you can, limit driving time. Finally, do not start any fires, especially in dry areas.

Hailstones form in thunderstorm updrafts when a tiny piece of ice is in a region of air where the temperature is at least just below freezing. They grow in size as they collide with supercooled water droplets.

The hailstones will start to fall if the updraft weakens or if it grows too heavy for the updraft to support.

Large enough hailstones can cause critical damage to vehicles and animals, and can be blown against exterior walls by strong winds.

If hail is expected, you should bring in animals and put vehicles into an enclosed space if possible. Stay away from windows and avoid going outdoors.

Friday - Flooding

With some heavy rain showers, low areas with no or insufficient drainage will be flooded. Flooding is especially prevalent in coastal areas or other areas where it rains a lot and often.

Sometimes a flood will be referred to as a flash flood. Flash flooding can occur within minutes with little warning.

Floods have a range of severity. Typical flooding includes areas that are commonly flooded in normal storms, mainly streets and some underpasses. In this kind of flooding, remember: turn around, don't drown!

Major flooding can submerge a house's first floor completely. If you live in an area prone to severe flooding, you should protect your home and belongings.

If you are caught in a severe flood, get to higher ground. This could be an attic or even a hill. If you are told to evacuate, do so immediately.

Flood waters can be fast moving and deeper than it appears, and can also contain sharp objects. Do not move through flood water if you can.

If you are trapped in flood waters, seek higher ground and dial 911 if possible.

An interjection from future syrup!!

So on April 28th, our basement flooded and, among other damage, caused our water heater to shut down. We do have a sump pump, but it turned out it was not adequately pumping out water coming in. So this is a reminder to check and test your equipment!

This concludes Severe Weather Preparedness Week 2024. If you couldn't tell from this, I love studying the weather, even if I don't fully understand the science behind measuring and predicting it.

If that doesn't tell you any more, then maybe this will: I am a volunteer for CoCoRaHS network, which measures precipitation across the US, Canada, and the Bahamas.