FRANKFORT, Ky. (Feb. 28, 2013) – Earlier this week, Kentucky Emergency Management (KYEM) and the Kentucky Weather Preparedness Committee (KWPC) teamed up with Kentucky Educational Television to host the KET Show, Severe Weather – Staying Safe! The show was part of the state’s efforts to highlight March as Severe Weather Awareness Month in Kentucky.

The show’s host, Bill Goodman, lead discussion among a group of weather and preparedness experts regarding severe weather, offered safety tips and took viewers questions for panelist to answer on the air. The panelists were: John Heltzel, director of Kentucky Emergency Management; John Gordon, National Weather Service Louisville Office Meteorologist in Charge and T.G. Shuck, meteorologist and retired television weather personality.

Viewers who called in were asked a short survey of questions to provide officials information on better informing and alerting the public regarding severe weather.

“One of the survey questions asked callers was if they owned a weather alert radio,” said Buddy Rogers, spokesman for KYEM and chair of KWPC. “We found that 67 percent of all callers did not. Weather alert radios are relatively inexpensive, starting around $20 for mobile device and $30 for desktop models. They are designed to alert you indoors where outdoor sirens do not, and the bottom line is they save lives.”

The fact many callers did not own alert radios gave KWPC new ideas for an awareness campaign, Rogers said.

The show also recapped the Feb. 29 and March 2 tornadoes of 2012 and the recovery of the hardest hit communities.

As part of awareness activities in March, the National Weather Service (NWS), partnering with Emergency Management and Kentucky Broadcasters Association (KBA) will conduct a tornado test message Tuesday, March 5 at approximately 10:07 a.m. EST that will activate NOAA Weather Radios and broadcast media. Schools, businesses, government agencies and citizens across the Commonwealth are encouraged to participate in the annual Statewide Tornado Safety Drill.

A survey will be available online, allowing Emergency Management and other officials to measure and improve preparedness for such occasions. The survey, the Governor’s proclamation, items for an emergency kit and plan, additional weather information and important links are available at http://kyem.ky.gov/StatewideTornadoSafetyDrill/Pages/default.aspx.

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