Tuesday, September 23, 2014

Tis the season...Tornado that is!

In Kansas we are always at  risk of severe weather and this time of year the possibilities increase. It's time to review the appropriate steps to prepare for and protect ourselves from severe weather. I've listed some things to think about so that you can be prepared to provide the greatest degree of protection from sever weather to your family and friends. Today we are far better equipped to prepare ourselves with the advent of high technology warning systems and able to more accurately predict conditions most likely to create tornado type activity, with days of advanced warning. But the weather service can only predict and warn; YOU have to take action. 

First and foremost, develop a severe weather plan for you and your family. Discuss it in detail with them and practice the drill a few times so that if the time comes everyone knows how to react quickly and safely. Next, have a “Public Alert” certified weather radio available to receive weather information. Often at this time of the year you can get one free from local television stations or other sources. If not, one can be purchased at most retail outlets at minimal cost. 

If you have dedicated space in your home such as a safe room or a basement, pre-position a home emergency kit to provide you and your family with three days of basic needs and place it in the location in your home you will seek refuge. Consider packing items such as an LED flashlight that has a beacon or flashing feature, a battery operated lantern, extra batteries for all battery operated items, enough blankets to keep everyone covered and warm, dry foods with extended shelf life such as crackers, small jars of peanut butter and jelly, survival crackers, chocolate bars, and any other foods relative to known health conditions of the family, a case of water, and a small first aid kit with basic necessities. It's possible you might be in your shelter for a few days and a deck of playing cards may come in handy! Always remember that children, especially young ones, have a tendency to act out and may invade your emergency kit to "play tornado." It's wise to find a method of securing the kit so it can't be invaded, ensuring the items you think you have in the kit are waiting for you when you need them most. A combination lock is recommended! 

Make sure while you are at work you are aware of the shelter. Be aware of the weather conditions at all times. Know when there is an increased potential for severe weather and make sure you understand the different weather notifications:                

Tornado Watch –The National Weather Service has determined that conditions are right for the stated type of weather to possibly occur.                

Tornado Warning -The National Weather Service has determined that conditions indicate that it is probable for the stated type of weather to occur or it is already occurring.                

Tornado Siren Activation –During sever weather activity, the City WILL NOT activate the siren warning system for any other reason than to        warn you of imminent danger. If you hear the City’s outdoor warning sirens it means you are in imminent danger and need to seek shelter   immediately!

Make yourself and your family aware of these basic tornado safety rules:

1. The safest place to be is in an underground shelter, basement, or safe room. If no underground shelter or safe room is available, a small, windowless interior room or hallway on the lowest level of a sturdy building is the safest alternative. 

2. Mobile homes are not safe during tornadoes.Abandon mobile homes and go to the nearest sturdy building or shelter.  

3. If you are caught outdoors, seek safety in a basement, shelter or sturdy building or as a last resort get into a vehicle with your seat belt on and put your head down, covering yourself with a blanket if possible.      

4. If you can get noticeably lower than the level of the roadway, exit the vehicle and lie flat in that area. 

5. Once you take shelter due to the probability of a tornado in your area, stay sheltered until you have confirmation from a weather information source such as radio, television or weather radio that indicate the potential has passed. Only then should you come out of the protected shelter. 

6. Remember that tornadoes can occur any time the of day and any day of the year. Be prepared!

If you have any questions pertaining to sever weather, local shelter  and warning methods, feel free to contact Chief Russ Buller at  327-4412.

Fireworks safety starts with common sense

It's that time of the year when statistically most home accidents occur, celebrating the 4th of July!The best safety policy there is to help reduce the chance of accidents during the holiday is to resist the urge to enjoy your own celebration at home and attend one or more of the several celebrations that will occur in the region, and leave it up to the professionals. 

The Hesston Police Department urges safe and responsible use of fireworks to celebrate Independence Day.  The first and most important rule for discharging fireworks is to ensure you understand local ordinances regarding the use of fireworks within the city. Fireworks can be legally discharged within city limits between 8 a.m. and Midnight on July 1-4, 2014.  Only those fireworks which are sold in approved retail locations are authorized to be discharged, bottle rockets are strictly prohibited. It is also illegal to point and shoot, cast, throw, or propel fireworks of any kind in the direction or into the path of any animal, person, group of persons, or from within or in the direction or path of a vehicle of any kind. Here are several precautions should be taken when enjoying fireworks to minimize the risk of injury and fire:      

Never allow young children to play with or ignite fireworks.       

Never place any part of your body directly over a fireworks device then lighting the fuse.  Back up to a safe distance immediately after lighting fireworks.        

Light fireworks one at a time, then move back quickly.        

Always have an adult present to supervise fireworks activities. Parents don't realize that young children suffer injuries from sparklers.  Sparklers burn at temperatures of about 2,000 degrees, hot enough to melt some metals.       

Have a source of water close by in case of accidental fire.       

After fireworks complete their burning, douse the spent device with plenty of water from a bucket or hose before discarding it to prevent a trash fire. 

If the ordinance fails to ignite, do not stand over it or investigate from close proximity, douse it with water immediately. Always keep a water source within immediate access for use to douse failed discharges or fires.   

Never point or throw fireworks at another person. Always point fireworks to discharge in a direction away from people, buildings, dead grass and other flammables. Never wear loose fitting clothing when igniting or discharging fireworks.

If anyone is injured by the discharge of fireworks, call 911 or go to a medical treatment facility immediately. If the injury occurs to the eye do not allow the injured to rub the area as it may cause further injury. If you are unsure about the legalities of discharging fireworks within the city limits of Hesston, or have any questions pertaining to this topic, please call the Police Department at 327-2020. 

Hesston Connection

West Embers 4th Addition – The project has been completed and lots are being sold for development! The project added 12 new lots to the West Embers subdivision and connects Knott Street with Morning Dew. Development activity has been brisk, call your local Realtor to learn more. 

Railroad Crossing Upgrades - K&O railroad and their sub-contractor, CDL Electric, have complete upgrades to the crossing signals at Lincoln Boulevard and at Main Street.  The upgrade includes new towers, flashing signals and cantilevered gate arms.  The improvements were funded and administered by the Kansas Department of Transportation. The remaining work to be completed is to replace the crossing under another contract. Time frame for that has not been released yet.

Improvements to Plaza and Cherry Hills Court  - The Street Department is currently working to replace a section of pavement in this area. The work entails a full depth replacement of a section of pavement that was cracked and flaking, along with replacing the the curb radius. The project is planned to be completed by June 1. Safety markings are out, please drive safe in this area and watch for workers. 


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