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6 tips to prepare for severe weather season6 tips to prepare for severe weather season

K-State meteorologist offers tips to help you and your family prepare for weather emergencies.

Jennifer M. Latzke

March 15, 2022

2 Min Read
SEVERE WEATHER: Chip Redmond, Kansas State University meteorologist, offers six tips to help you prepare for severe weather this season. Minerva Studio/Getty Images

Springtime in Kansas doesn’t just bring new calves and green wheat—it also brings dangerous severe weather events.

Chip Redmond, Kansas State University meteorologist, reminds everyone to have a plan in place so that they can better protect themselves, their families and their properties in severe weather.

  1. Have a plan. Write down what you will do in various emergencies, and practice your plan with your family and staff. Have a weather radio to monitor alerts, or some other means of getting alerts from media.

  2. Take shelter. Know where you’ll take shelter. Remember, the safest place is the lowest central location in the home, he says. If there is no basement available, the next best is a central hallway or bathroom. Always stay away from windows.

  3. Have a “go bag.” Make sure the bag is packed with medicines, extra clothes, food, water and power supplies for your cellphone or other electronics. Have one for each member of the family. And include supplies for family pets.

  4. Stay low. If you’re caught outside in a lightning storm or tornado, never shelter under trees, and avoid porches and overhangs. Don’t try to outrun tornadoes in your car. A ditch can be a shelter from flying debris if you can’t get inside.

  5. Avoid electricity. Lightning can travel through water and electrical wires, even if a strike is away from your house. So, stay off electronic devices that are hooked into a wall outlet, and stay out of the shower or other water sources.

  6. Avoid water on roadways. It might be tempting to drive through water on the roadway, but just 6 inches of water can move a car effectively, Redmond says. And you don’t know the condition of the road under that running water. The best advice is “turn around, don’t drown,” he says.

“Practicing and having a plan saves lives,” Redmond says. To learn more about staying safe in weather emergencies, visit the National Weather Service at weather.gov/safety.

K-State Research and Extension contributed to this article.

About the Author(s)

Jennifer M. Latzke

Editor, Kansas Farmer

Through all her travels, Jennifer M. Latzke knows that there is no place like Kansas.

Jennifer grew up on her family’s multigenerational registered Angus seedstock ranch and diversified farm just north of Woodbine, Kan., about 30 minutes south of Junction City on the edge of the Kansas Flint Hills. Rock Springs Ranch State 4-H Center was in her family’s backyard.

While at Kansas State University, Jennifer was a member of the Sigma Kappa Sorority and a national officer for the Agricultural Communicators of Tomorrow. She graduated in May 2000 with a bachelor’s degree in agricultural communications and a minor in animal science. In August 2000 Jennifer started her 20-year agricultural writing career in Dodge City, Kan., on the far southwest corner of the state.

She’s traveled across the U.S. writing on wheat, sorghum, corn, cotton, dairy and beef stories as well as breaking news and policy at the local, state and national levels. Latzke has traveled across Mexico and South America with the U.S. Wheat Associates and toured Vietnam as a member of KARL Class X. She’s traveled to Argentina as one of 10 IFAJ-Alltech Young Leaders in Agricultural Journalism. And she was part of a delegation of AAEA: The Ag Communicators Network members invited to Cuba.

Jennifer’s an award-winning writer, columnist, and podcaster, recognized by the Kansas Professional Communicators, Kansas Press Association, the National Federation of Presswomen, Livestock Publications Council, and AAEA. In 2019, Jennifer reached the pinnacle of achievements, earning the title of “Writer of Merit” from AAEA.

Trips and accolades are lovely, but Jennifer says she is happiest on the road talking to farmers and ranchers and gathering stories and photos to share with readers.

“It’s an honor and a great responsibility to be able to tell someone’s story and bring them recognition for their work on the land,” Jennifer says. “But my role is also evolving to help our more urban neighbors understand the issues our Kansas farmers face in bringing the food and fiber to their store shelves.”

She spends her time gardening, crafting, watching K-State football, and cheering on her nephews and niece in their 4-H projects. She can be found on Twitter at @Latzke.

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