Severe weather season is upon us in Southwest Kansas, residents should plan ahead to be ready for severe storms. Residents with questions should call our office 620-626-3270 for information regarding preparedness and response.
When a Thunderstorm or Tornado WATCH is issued, tune your am/fm radio, television or NOAA radio to a local channel, so you will get updates on the weather as it develops and occurs.
Go over your plan to shelter with family and friends. There are no "Public" shelters in Liberal, however several churches, mobile home parks, and homeowners with basements do invite neighbors in to take shelter, ask your neighbors about area buildings which may be used as shelters. Government buildings when open will allow people to come inside, the Sheriff's Office is open 24/7.
If you choose to shelter in your home; the basement, cellar, or storm shelter is best, however adequate shelter MAY be obtained by moving to a small interior room with no windows, such as a bathroom or closet, and covering up with a mattress or other padded materials.
Large buildings such as big retail stores are not safe in a storm, the big clear span roofs may fail under high winds, automobiles are not safe and persons should seek shelter in well built permanent structures, preferably in smaller rooms of the structure. A "safe room" or storm shelter is the best possible refuge in a severe storm.
If a WARNING is issued for a thunderstorm or tornado move quickly to shelter, plan to be in your area of shelter within two or three minutes from the time the WARNING is issued, once in the shelter continue to monitor NOAA radio and or LOCAL TV or Radio for updates on the weather. The Tornado sirens are an outdoor warning device, used to alert people who are outdoors of a dangerous storm approaching the city, these sirens are tested monthly on the first Wednesday of the month when the skies are clear. When weather is occurring in our county Tornado sirens may be sounded repeatedly these sirens are always a warning, they are never an "ALL CLEAR".
NOAA radio and local news outlets such as radio and TV stations provide the best information on the weather, keep in mind that even if a Tornado warning is allowed to expire, or is cancelled, severe thunderstorms may still be present or possible, residents should remain in shelter until ALL warnings expire or are cancelled and should remain near or ready to go to shelter as long as a watch is in effect.
Local news outlets provide the best information about severe weather, national outlets like the Weather channel may not always focus on our local area when weather is occurring across the country. The local 911 center is often deluged with calls during an emergency, please refrain from calling 911 for information.
Numerous companies provide weather updates via cell phone or computer, check with your favorite weather provider, they most likely have an automatic system to provide you with updates to present conditions.