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8 ways to prepare your family during Severe Weather Awareness Week

8 ways to prepare your family during Severe Weather Awareness Week

Severe Weather Awareness Week, March 2-6, is a good time to prepare your family for the possibility of severe weather throughout the year, such as flooding, flash flooding, strong winds, blizzards, and tornadoes. 

Here are some things you can do this week:

Monday, March 2

•  Enroll or update your info in NotifyJoCo: NotifyJoCo, Johnson County’s free emergency mass notification system, is designed to get you the information you need when you need it during emergencies and other non-emergency events. You can customize your preferences to receive time-sensitive messages directly from the County and participating cities and public utilities at home or work, by phone, cell, text and email. Sign up or update your information at www.notifyjoco.org.

Tuesday, March 3

•  Test NotifyJoCo: The third annual public test of NotifyJoCo will be initiated at 10 a.m. You will receive notification by phone, cell, text and/or email if you are in the system -- either by opting in or through publicly available information.

•  Hold a tornado drill: The annual statewide tornado drill for Kansas and Missouri will begin at 1:30 p.m. Use this time to practice sheltering plans for severe weather either at home or at work. The outdoor warning sirens in Johnson County and NOAA all-hazard weather radios will be activated and television and radio stations will also test their notification systems. If weather prevents the drill from taking place, it will be rescheduled for the same time on Thursday, March 5.

Wednesday, March 4

•  Program your weather radio: Johnson County Emergency Management staff will be available to help program your weather radio Monday through Friday, 9 a.m. - 4 p.m., at the County Administration building, 111 S Cherry St., Suite 100, Olathe. Remember to bring batteries to hold the programming until the radio can be plugged in.

•  Listen for the siren test: Johnson County Division of Emergency Management will conduct the monthly test of the outdoor warning siren system at 11 a.m. Johnson County’s system consists of 190 sirens placed strategically throughout the county as an early warning device to alert people outdoors to seek shelter and additional information.

 Thursday, March 5

•  Explore JoCo72: JoCo72 is a new online hub for emergency preparedness. Filled with information about what to do in an emergency, simple steps to get connected, and guides to help you get prepared, the website, http://www.joco72.org, also features a section that will provide real-time information during emergencies, including a map for navigating city resources and updates from the County and emergency partners. In a serious emergency, community services will be impacted, so a basic rule of thumb is for people to be able to take care of each other for 72 hours before help arrives.

 Friday, March 6

•  Stop by the Emergency Operations Center: Emergency Management staff will be on hand to answer questions, provide tours, and help with programming weather radios during the Emergency Operations Center open house, 9 a.m. - 7 p.m., Friday March 6. The Emergency Operations Center is located in the County Administration building, 111 S Cherry St., Suite 100, Olathe.

Saturday, March 7

•  Build or check your emergency kit: Celebrate the time change by starting a kit or checking expiration dates on the items you already have. For a list of what to include visit www.jocogov.org/em.