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News Release

Lancaster County Emergency Management
Date: March 20, 2013

For more information contact
Doug Ahlberg, Emergency Management, 402-441-7441
Dave Norris, Citizen Information Center, 402-441-7547

Severe Weather Awareness Week Begins March 25
Public invited to WeatherFest April 6

Lancaster County Emergency Management Director Doug Ahlberg today urged all residents to create or review their families' severe weather plans as part of Severe Weather Awareness Week March 25 through 31. Ahlberg also encouraged the public to attend the free severe weather symposium "WeatherFest" from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. Saturday, April 6 at Hardin Hall, 3301 Holdrege. WeatherFest is a family event focusing on weather-related issues.

A NOAA all-hazards radio is a great gift for the entire family," said Ahlberg. "It will provide the best possible chance of reacting to severe weather and seeking shelter in a timely manner. A good family emergency response plan should include a location where all family members will report in the event of severe weather activity such as a tornado. And like any emergency response plan, reinforcing it on an annual basis is very important.

Ahlberg said tornados can happen anytime of the year, but April, May and June historically have the most tornado activity. He said tornados are most likely to occur between 4 and 9 p.m.

Ahlberg thanked the local media outlets whose meteorologists and weather forecasters have been providing severe weather tips in advance of Severe Weather Awareness Week. For the month of March only, the local monthly test of the severe weather notification system was postponed from the usual first Wednesday of the month to 10:15 a.m. Wednesday, March 27 to coincide with Severe Weather Awareness Week.

This test includes the testing of outdoor warning sirens. Ahlberg said residents should not rely on these sirens as a substitute for an indoor warning. He said local weather reports and the NOAA all-hazards radio supply the best, most immediate information. The outdoor warning sirens are designed to be the final warning to seek cover immediately.

For more information on severe weather preparedness, visit lancaster.ne.gov (keyword: emergency).

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