Pawnee County Emergency Management Storm Readiness Information
When are tornadoes most likely?
A Tornado WATCH is issued by the NOAA Storm Prediction Center meteorologists who watch the weather 24/7 across the entire U.S. for weather conditions that are favorable for tornadoes and severe weather. A watch can cover parts of a state or several states. Watch and prepare for severe weather and stay tuned to NOAA Weather Radio to know when warnings are issued.
A Tornado WARNING is issued by your local NOAA National Weather Service Forecast Office meteorologists who watch the weather 24/7 over a designated area. This means a tornado has been reported by spotters or indicated by radar and there is a serious threat to life and property to those in the path of the tornado. A tornado warning indicates that you should ACT NOW to find safe shelter! A warning can cover parts of counties or several counties in the path of danger.
Preparing for a Tornado
- Be Weather-Ready: Check the forecast regularly to see if you’re at risk for tornadoes. Listen to local news or a NOAA Weather Radio to stay informed about tornado watches and warnings. Check the Weather-Ready Nation for tips.
- Sign Up for Notifications: Know how your community sends warnings. Some communities have outdoor sirens. Others depend on media and smart phones to alert residents of severe storms capable of producing tornadoes.
- Create a Communications Plan: Have a family plan that includes an emergency meeting place and related information. If you live in a mobile home or home without a basement, identify a nearby safe building you can get too quickly, such as a church or family member.
- Pick a safe room in your home, such as a basement, storm cellar, or an interior room on the lowest floor with no windows. Check more ideas for your family plan at: https://www.ready.gov/make-a-plan
- Practice Your Plan: Conduct a family severe thunderstorm drill regularly so everyone knows what to do if a tornado is approaching. Make sure all members of your family know to go there when tornado warnings are issued. Don’t forget pets if time allows.
- Prepare Your Home: Consider having your safe room reinforced. You can find plans for reinforcing an interior room to provide better protection on the Federal Emergency Management Agency website.
- Help Your Neighbor: Encourage your loved ones to prepare for the possibility of tornadoes. Take CPR training so you can help if someone is hurt.
The Enhanced Fujita Scale or EF Scale, which became operational on February 1, 2007, is used to assign a tornado's "rating" based on estimated wind speeds and related damage. When tornado related damage is surveyed, it is compared to a list of damage indicators (DIs) and degrees of damage (DoD) which help estimate better the range of wind speeds the tornado likely produced. From that, a rating of EF0 to EF5 is assigned.
What to do after a tornado...
- Stay Informed:Continue to listen to local news or a NOAA Weather Radio to stay updated about tornado watches and warnings. Multiple rounds of thunderstorms capable of producing tornadoes are possible during severe weather outbreaks.
- Contact Your Family and Loved Ones: Let your family and close friends know that you’re okay so they can help spread the word. Text messages or social media are more reliable forms of communication than phone calls.
- Assess the Damage: After the threat for tornadoes has ended, check to see if your property has been damaged. When walking through storm damage, wear long pants, a long-sleeved shirt, and sturdy shoes. Contact local authorities if you see power lines down. Stay out of damaged buildings. Be aware of insurance scammers if your property has been damaged.
- Help Your Neighbor: If you come across people that are injured and you are properly trained, provide first aid to victims if needed until emergency response teams arrive.
Ralph Lowrey - Storm Spotting Manager
Ralph Lowrey is our Storm Spotting Manager. Ralph is a very experienced storm spotter and is always watching when storms roll into Pawnee County.
- Conditional Use Permit Application (PDF)
- Conditional Use Permit Instructions (PDF)
- Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) Public Assistance Handbook (PDF)
- Floodplain Development Permit Application (PDF)
- General Zoning Permit Application (PDF)
- General Zoning Permit Instructions (PDF)
- Neighborhood Revitalization (PDF)
- Open Records Request (PDF)
- Public Notice - Kansas Water Pollution Control Permits (PDF)
- Zoning Regulations (PDF)
- Kansas Region E Hazard Mitigation Plan 11.10.2019
Pawnee County Emergency Management is working hard to insure all citizens of Pawnee County are informed with the latest information on the COVID Crisis. Please visit the Kansas Department of Health and Environments Resource Center for updates and important information on the COVID Crisis. Pawnee County Emergency Management in conjunction with the County Health Department, County Commissioners and other Governing Authorities will continue to communicate information through Facebook posts @pawneecountyinfo and this website to insure that you are informed with the latest information.
Pawnee County Emergency Management would also like to remind you that the Small Business Administration offers COVID-19 Small Business Guidance and Loan Resources. The Small Business Administration can help your business overcome the challenges created by this health crisis. They offer multiple funding options for those seeking relief. On June 15, SBA will begin accepting new Economic Injury Disaster Loan (EIDL) and EDIL Advance applications from all eligible small businesses and U.S. agriculture businesses.