Activities to promote preparedness during Nebraska Severe Weather Awareness Week (March 25-31) have been scheduled across the state as a way to encourage all Nebraskans to get ready for the hazardous weather conditions that can occur during the spring and summer months in Nebraska.
A proclamation by Gov. Pete Ricketts signed March 5, reminded Nebraskans that community preparedness can minimize the dangers, which the annual severe weather season presents, to the lives and property of Nebraskans.
Many communities will be participating in the annual statewide tornado drill on Wednesday, March 28 at 10 a.m. as part of the week’s activities.
“We want all Nebraskans to take some time during Severe Weather Awareness Week to prepare for spring and summer severe weather,” said NEMA Assistant Director Bryan Tuma. “The devastating impacts of extreme events can be reduced through improved readiness. Make a safety plan, create a preparedness kit and review proper safety precautions. It’s just a good practice for those of us who live in areas affected by tornadoes, floods and severe thunderstorms.”
Resources for staying prepared are available on the NEMA Website at nema.nebraska.gov. Scroll to the bottom of the front page and select the hazard you want to learn about including: floods, thunderstorms/tornadoes and fire/drought . You can also download preparedness resources including a preparedness kit list and a family preparedness guide.
“We want to encourage everyone to listen carefully to instructions from local officials and take the recommended protective measures to safeguard life and property when a disaster or severe weather event occurs,” Tuma said. “Stay informed about approaching severe weather. Monitor weather radios, phone apps, local news outlets and the National Weather Service. Also, make sure you have a preparedness kit that includes items like a battery-powered radio, flashlight, food, water and medicine -- enough for everyone, including pets, for at least three days.”
The Wednesday drill offers a time for residents, businesses and industries to test their severe weather emergency preparedness plans. The morning drill will begin around 10 a.m., with the issuance of a mock tornado warning and activation of outdoor warning sirens about 10 to 15 minutes later. If severe weather is possible that day, the drill may be postponed or canceled.
Sarpy County has planned a variety of activities for Severe Weather Awareness Week, including:
- March 20: the Sarpy County Board of Commissioners will proclaim the week beginning March 25 as Severe Weather Awareness Week in Sarpy County. Sarpy EMA will also participate in FEMA Region 7’s microburst on Twitter at 10 a.m. and will continue to promote severe weather awareness on Twitter and NextDoor throughout the entire week.
- March 26: will set up two exhibits that display the poster contest entries received by the County as well as other severe weather preparedness information and materials. The first exhibit will be in the atrium of the Sarpy County Administration Building. The second exhibit will be near the entry of the Sarpy County Courthouse. They will remain there all week.
- March 28: will participate in the statewide tornado drill by sounding our outdoor warning sirens upon issuance of the mock warning (around 10:15 a.m.)
- March 29: will host severe storm spotter training provided by the National Weather Service at the Bellevue Fire Training Center at 7:00 p.m. All weather enthusiasts are welcome to attend.
- March 31: conducting a storm spotter deployment drill at 8:00 a.m. (SCEMA credentialed volunteers only).
Contact: Jesse Eret, program specialist, Sarpy County Emergency Management Agency [email protected].