The Board of County Commissioners has proclaimed March 2-6 as Severe Weather Awareness Week in order to increase community members’ awareness of severe weather risks and the actions we all can take to protect our families, workplaces, and community. The declaration is part of a statewide effort to encourage residents to prepare for severe weather that might impact their homes, businesses, and schools such as flooding, flash flooding, strong wind, lightning, thunder, hail, and tornadoes.
The public can participate in Severe Weather Awareness Week at least one way each day next week. On Monday, March 2, the county encouraged residents to sign-up for NotifyJoCo, a free emergency mass notification system designed to get residents the information they need during emergencies. Users can sign up at www.notifyjoco.org.
On Tuesday, March 3, officials conducted the third annual public test of the NotifyJoCo system. All contacts received test communications. The annual statewide tornado drill for both Kansas and Missouri was also on March 3.

Upcoming events include:

Wednesday, March 4
• Program your weather radio: Johnson County Emergency Management staff will be available to help people program weather radios Monday through Friday, 9 a.m. – 4 p.m., at the County Administration building, 111 S Cherry St., Suite 100, Olathe. Remember to bring batteries to hold the programming until the radio can be plugged in.
• Listen for the siren test: Johnson County Division of Emergency Management will conduct the monthly test of the outdoor warning siren system at 11 a.m. Johnson County’s system consists of 190 sirens placed strategically throughout the county as an early warning device to alert people who are outdoors of potential danger.

Thursday, March 5
• Explore JoCo72: JoCo72 is a new online hub for emergency preparedness. Filled with information about what to do in an emergency, simple steps to get connected, and guides to help you get prepared, the website, http://www.joco72.org, also features a section that will provide real-time information during emergencies, including a map for navigating city resources and updates from the county and emergency partners. In a serious emergency, community services will be impacted, so a basic rule of thumb is for people to be able to take care of each other for 72 hours before help arrives.

Friday, March 6
• Stop by the county’s emergency operations center: Emergency management staff will be on hand to answer questions, provide tours, and help with programming weather radios during the emergency operations center open house, from 9 a.m. to 7 p.m. on March 6. The emergency operations center is located in the county administration building, 111 S Cherry St., Suite 100, Olathe.
For more information on how to prepare for an emergency, please visit www.jocogov.org/em.