This week marks Severe Weather Preparedness week in Kansas. Each day features a different safety tip topic. Monday’s tip focuses on preparedness while Tuesday is tornadoes, Wednesday is lightning, Thursday is hail and wind and Friday is flood. More information about these topics is available at the National Weather Service.
A statewide tornado drill will be conducted at 10 a.m. Tuesday, March 7. While Louisburg’s tornado siren test event was last Wednesday, Miami County Emergency Services is encouraging schools and businesses to still participate in the statewide drill and practice their plan.
With 56 documented tornadoes in Kansas last year, residents should be prepared for a twister or other severe weather. The NWS urges residents to have multiple ways to receive information about severe weather. Locally, residents can sign up for emergency alerts through Miami County’s emergency notification system. This system is free and provides phone calls, texts or emails about severe weather and other emergencies such as evacuations, police activity, missing children, boil orders or other instances where quick action by residents is required.
Living in Kansas everyone should be prepared for threatening weather. All members of families should know where to meet in the event of an emergency or how to contact each other if phone communication is impacted. Also plan where you will shelter if you don’t have a basement and tornado sirens are activated.
LOUISBURG'S TORNADO SHELTER
In Louisburg, a tornado shelter is located in the basement at the Fire Station, 205 S. Metcalf. In the event of a tornado warning, the shelter will open with parking available at the rear of the building. Residents who want to shelter should bring a folding chair or blanket, their medications and enough water and snacks to last for several hours. Those with babies or young children should bring enough supplies for their care in the event a tornado does strike Louisburg and an extended stay in the shelter will be required. It might also be a good idea to bring something to keep you and your children occupied during the shelter stay. Cats and dogs are allowed if they are kenneled. Be sure to bring enough food for your pets. Residents are also encouraged to practice their plan on where to go and what to bring so everyone knows what to do before bad weather strikes.
At only 56 tornadoes last year, Kansas was under the state average of 95 and well below the high of 187 tornadoes in 2008. Miami County reported two tornadoes in 2022 in the early morning hours of June 8. The tornadoes were EF-0 and were just over 9 miles long. Both tornadoes paralleled each other starting southeast of Louisburg near the state line and moving northwest passing near Somerset. These tornadoes formed as part of a large storm cell that occurred over the KC metro area.