Kentucky Emergency Management
GOVERNOR BESHEAR DECLARES MARCH SEVERE WEATHER AWARENESS MONTH
FRANKFORT, Ky. (Feb. 28, 2011) - History tells us that Kentucky's most common threat is the weather. With that, Governor Beshear has signed a proclamation declaring March 2011 as Severe Weather Awareness Month, urging all Kentuckians to be prepared for severe weather.
The severe weather that swept through the Commonwealth last night and early this morning, causing damage in Henry and Boyd Counties, coupled with the recent tragedy in Graves County, where four children lost their lives to flash flooding, serve as significant reminders why we must be aware, use caution and remain prepared for inclement weather at all times.
John Heltzel, director of Kentucky Emergency Management (KYEM) stated, "Although state and local governments are here to assist the public during these times, preparedness starts at home. It starts with being aware of conditions and situations that threaten you and your family's safety and then taking appropriate steps."
If the lights go out, are you prepared? That is a simple but necessary question that we must all ask ourselves. In the event of a power outage something as simple as having a flashlight, radio and extra batteries available can make a difference in your safety during these times.
Kentuckians face many weather related challenges throughout the year, from tornadoes, flooding and winter storms to man made hazards. Every household should be prepared to face these challenges at any given time.
In May 2010 Kentuckians experienced unprecedented flooding and many families are still rebuilding from flash floods that struck in July. And who will forget the January 2009 ice storm that left over 700,000 customers without power and over 200,000 customers were without water for days and weeks.
Heltzel continued, "Be prepared! You should have a three day supply of food and water for each member of your family, along with essentials such as:
medicines, flash lights, radio, extra batteries, matches, candles, first aid supplies, etc."
Along with an emergency kit you should have an emergency plan.
PLANNING FOR DISASTER:
"Be Aware, Be Prepared, Have a Plan!"
* Know in advance your weather forecasts.
* Own a battery backup NOAA Weather Alert Radio and battery (or crank)
operated AM/FM radio for local broadcasts.
* Stay tuned to your local broadcasting stations.
* Discuss conditions with family member and know their location during
times of known potentially threatening conditions.
* Discuss your plan with family members and neighbors.
* Review your plan periodically for necessary updates.
* Refresh you emergency kit(s).
* Drill: practice your plan with household members.
* If you own a generator, read and familiarize yourself with the
owner's safety manual before ever attempting to use it.
Have a plan:
* UTILITES: Written instructions for how to turn off electricity, gas
and water if authorities advise you to do so (Remember, you'll need a professional to turn them back on).
* SHELTER: Identify safe locations within your residence and long term
shelters within you community.
* CONTACTS: Written contact information should include; relatives,
neighbors, utility companies, employers (employees) and local emergency contact telephone numbers. Advise a contact (even an out of state contact is
advised) of your plan.
* EVACUATE: Predetermine evacuation routes. Identify where you could
go if told to evacuate
Choose several places . . ., a friend or relative's home in another town, a motel, or local shelter.
* Children: Make back up plans for children in case you (or they) can't
get home in an emergency
* Vehicles: Maintain a half tank of fuel in vehicle
Move vehicles from under trees during possible wind events.
Keep an "Emergency Go Kit" in the vehicle.
* Medications: prepare a list of all prescription drugs.
Make a kit:
* First aid kit and essential medications; extra eyeglasses
* Canned food and can opener
* At least three gallons of water per person
* Protective clothing, rainwear, and bedding or sleeping bags
* Battery-powered (or crank) radio, flashlight, and extra batteries
* Waterproof matches and candles
* Local phone book
* Special items for infants, elderly, or disabled family members
* Extra set of car keys
As a part of Severe Weather Awareness Month on Tuesday, March 8th at approximately 10:07 a.m. EST, the National Weather Service, partnering with Kentucky Emergency Management, will conduct a tornado test message that will activate NOAA Weather Radios, and broadcast media. Schools, businesses and citizens across the Commonwealth are encouraged to participate in the annual
Statewide Tornado Safety Drill. A survey will be available online, allowing
us to measure and improve our preparedness for such occasions.
The survey, Governor's proclamation, additional weather information and important links are available at www.kyem.ky.gov/weather.