Archive for Thursday, February 26, 2015

Severe Weather Awareness Week approaches; Douglas County prepares

February 26, 2015

Douglas County Emergency Management is hustling to prepare itself and the rest of the county as peak months for severe weather draw near.

As a part of Severe Weather Awareness Week, the emergency management team will sound a tornado drill Tuesday afternoon, said Assistant Director Jillian Rodrigue. The drill, which is a statewide exercise, is meant for emergency responders to test their equipment, procedures and plans of action.

"It's a really good test for us to make sure we're refreshed on how to sound the sirens and making sure our backups are there and ready," Rodrigue said.

While participation in the drill is not mandatory, Rodrigue said many local residents, businesses and schools will take the opportunity to run down their own tornado procedures.

Throughout the rest of the week Douglas County Emergency Management will be training on different types of warnings, hazardous scenarios, equipment usage, preparedness and multiple severe weather situations, Rodrigue said.

Two classes will be open to the public, however: the annual Douglas County Severe Weather Symposium on March 7 and Weather 101 on March 18.

"We'll have speakers from across the country and topics ranging from preparedness to detailed information on specific events," Rodrigue said.

The classes will teach participants what to do in different severe weather situations. They will also train weather spotters who work with Emergency Management when severe weather hits.

"They are one of the first lines of defense," Rodrigue said. "They are the eyes and the ears that see what's going on and they have a huge role in our warning operations."

If you go:

What: Douglas County Severe Weather Symposium

When: March 7 from 7:30 a.m. to 4 p.m.

Where: KU's Memorial Union, 1301 Jayhawk Blvd.

Cost: $15

What: Weather 101

When: March 18 from 7 p.m. to 8:30 p.m.

Where: Lawrence Arts Center, 940 New Hampshire St.

Cost: Free

As a part of Severe Weather Awareness Week, the emergency management team will sound a tornado drill Tuesday afternoon, said Assistant Director Jillian Rodrigue. The drill, which is a statewide exercise, is meant for emergency responders to test their equipment, procedures and plans of action.

"It's a really good test for us to make sure we're refreshed on how to sound the sirens and making sure our backups are there and ready," Rodrigue said.

While participation in the drill is not mandatory, Rodrigue said many local residents, businesses and schools will take the opportunity to run down their own tornado procedures.

Throughout the rest of the week Douglas County Emergency Management will be training on different types of warnings, hazardous scenarios, equipment usage, preparedness and multiple severe weather situations, Rodrigue said.

Two classes will be open to the public, however: the annual Douglas County Severe Weather Symposium on March 7 and Weather 101 on March 18.

"We'll have speakers from across the country and topics ranging from preparedness to detailed information on specific events," Rodrigue said.

The classes will teach participants what to do in different severe weather situations. They will also train weather spotters who work with Emergency Management when severe weather hits.

"They are one of the first lines of defense," Rodrigue said. "They are the eyes and the ears that see what's going on and they have a huge role in our warning operations."

If you go:

What: Douglas County Severe Weather Symposium

When: March 7 from 7:30 a.m. to 4 p.m.

Where: KU's Memorial Union, 1301 Jayhawk Blvd.

Cost: $15

What: Weather 101

When: March 18 from 7 p.m. to 8:30 p.m.

Where: Lawrence Arts Center, 940 New Hampshire St.

Cost: Free

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