Archive for Wednesday, April 11, 2001

No substitute for preparation

April 11, 2001

I always enjoy the arrival of spring and warmer weather in Kansas. But with the warmer weather comes the always-present threat of severe weather. Mother Nature can pose danger to life, limb and property at any time. Long-time Kansas residents respect and react to the high winds and darkening skies of an approaching storm system.

As Kansas governor, I recently signed a proclamation stressing the importance of severe weather awareness.

I have also had the unenviable task of visiting storm-ravaged areas. When I examine the total destruction and mountains of rubble, I wonder how so many victims are able to escape with no injuries.

The answer, of course, lies in the preparation and warning systems put in place in communities all across the Midwest.

The National Weather Service and local radio and television stations have forged one of the most effective and well-recognized public-private partnerships anywhere.

Ongoing efforts to track weather systems and warn Kansans have prevented countless deaths and injuries in recent decades.

The Kansas National Guard, the Highway Patrol, the Department of Transportation and local law enforcement agencies stand ready to respond in the event of a severe weather threat.

The Kansas Division of Emergency Management works with local and regional entities across the state to provide education, training and response information.

These efforts allow for quick action both before and after severe weather hits. Community service organizations like the Red Cross and Salvation Army work tirelessly to help the victims of natural disasters.

Severe weather forecasting technology continues to improve. Communication systems are better than ever.

Disaster response agencies are ready around the clock.

But the most important link in this life-saving chain is you. Knowing what to do and where to go during severe weather may very well be the difference between living and dying.

Pay close attention to severe weather warnings on the radio and television. Take cover if emergency sirens sound in your community. Find an interior room on the lowest level of a building. If you are outdoors, find low ground and stay down.

Never seek shelter under trees, bridges or overpasses.

There is no substitute for good preparation.

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