Severe Weather Awareness Week

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It's severe weather awareness week, that means the National Weather Service, meteorologists, and emergency managers are all focusing on making sure everyone has a plan for when severe weather strikes.

April is the first in a string of the three most active months for tornadoes in Nebraska.

"We're not immune to tornadic activity during other months." says Doug Ahlberg, Lancaster's Emergency Management Director, "But April, May, and June are highly tornadic months."

While forecasts for severe weather can be made days in advance. You need to be ready to take action at a moments notice because there may not be a lot of time to reach safety once a tornado forms.

"It can vary from 10 or 15 minutes to seconds. That's why having a plan and practicing that plan is so important," says 10/11's own Meteorologist Rusty Dawkins.

The first step in a plan is getting the news.

Wednesday morning, tornado sirens across Nebraska will be tested. The National Weather Service encourages everyone to practice their plans while they practice using the sirens. But those sirens are only meant as an outdoor warning system according to Ahlberg.

"They're not gonna wake you up at 3 o'clock in the morning. They're outdoor warning devices. That's what they're designed for."

During severe weather, a battery powered weather radio can be a life saver. Rusty says the more things you have to warn you, the better.

"Weather radio, one of the most important ways to do it, with battery backup in case you do lose power. Cell phones, smart phones have apps. We have texts alerts that you can sign up for on"

A kit, with things like food, water, and flashlights, is important to have.

First and foremost, know where you need to go in your house during severe weather. But it's also smart to know of a spot away from home, in case you get caught away from your neighborhood.

Designating a spot for your family to meet up afterwards is smart. In case you are separated you can meet up to let them know you are O.K.

This National Weather Service site has plenty of info on how to be prepared for any type of severe weather.