Suchan Says: Have a Plan, Be Ready!

Coming out of a strong winter El Nino that produced below average snow and kept temperatures warmer than normal, severe weather season is almost here.  I certainly see no weather evidence in the long range pattern to suggest we will some how miraculously dodge severe weather season.  Be prepared now rather than wait till the last second!  Next Tuesday will afford all of us the opportunity to dust off our severe weather plans, update disaster kits or in some cases, put a plan and kit together.

On Tuesday the 15th,  Missouri and Kansas will hold their Tornado Safety Drills with a “Test Tornado Warning” issued to simulate the real thing.  Missouri will hold their test at 1:30pm and this will include a strip of extreme eastern Kansas Counties (under the watch of the National Weather Service in Pleasant Hill, MO).  The rest of Kansas will have their drill at 6:30pm (Anderson, Douglas, Franklin Counties in our viewing area).  Sirens will be sound in every county.  This is a golden opportunity for schools, businesses and those at home to practice their severe weather safety plan.


Yellow Kansas Counties will fall under the Missouri statewide drill

Keep in mind and this is important to note, tornado sirens during severe weather season or anytime of the year actually are intended to be a layer of protection when “outdoors”.  Often folks will complain they do not hear the sirens in their home or business.  As the National Weather Service will advise (along with us), sirens are designed to alert those outdoors away from TV, radio or devices to alert them to what could be coming.

I prepared a checklist for a severe weather action plan to consider along with items that should be included in a weather emergency disaster kit.  Disaster kits should include waterproof containers to preserve some of the items on the list.  Also, I want to add if you’re in a car as a tornadic storm approaches, it is no longer advised you abandon your car for a ditch.  If you cannot turn around and safely drive away from a tornado, it’s best to buckle up and tuck in under your windshield to the best of your ability.  New research and data suggests a 50/50 set of odds leaving your car for a ditch which doesn’t make it worth the effort to park and try to find a ditch when time is precious.

Also, never seek safety under a highway overpass!!  Winds from a tornado strengthen when forced or channeled into tight areas and this means any debris carried underneath the overpass is moving at that high rate of speed as well.  There’s also risk of you being picked up off your feet and thrown away from the overpass.



I would encourage you to have our Storm Track 5 Weather App downloaded on to your smart phone.  IT IS FREE!!  Our app will alert you to warnings in your area and includes a multitude of weather maps from our weather system, power outage maps, traffic maps and more.


Free Storm Track 5 Weather App

All of us on the Storm Track 5 weather team will work extra hours to keep you and your family safe in dangerous weather.  Whether on TV or with our radio partners at Cumulus Radio (710am KCMO), Twitter, Facebook… we promise to keep you ahead of the weather!!

Chris Suchan
Chief Meteorologist

Twitter:  @ChrisSuchanKCTV


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