Callaway County emergency personnel are working double time to promote emergency awareness next week.
The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) and the state of Missouri have designated March 3-7 as Severe Weather Awareness Week. Callaway County Director of Emergency Management Michelle Kidwell is using the opportunity to promote preparedness for almost any natural disaster that can affect the Kingdom of Callaway.
Each day of the week focuses on a different element of severe weather, starting with general preparedness and culminating in the importance of paying attention to weather warnings.
"The whole week is important because knowing the steps people need to take in a disaster, whether it's a flood or earthquake or whatever, it reduces the danger or stress a family might face," Kidwell said. "People fall into a routine where they hear "be prepared' all the time, (but) disasters strike without warning. People might have to go for days without basic necessities or may need to evacuate, so (this week is) for them to be able to know what disasters could strike and plan ahead with what are we are going to do if this happens."
While there isn't a central event for every day over the week, Kidwell prepared information to keep in mind that will be updated throughout the new county Emergency Management Agency's Facebook page, Callaway County EMA. For instance, Monday is "Preparedness Day," encouraging residents to pack supplies and keep them in designated places at home or work.
"We're really trying to roll out a lot more stuff this year so I think there's a lot more things coming out," Kidwell said. "Probably starting Sunday night, I'll start putting up more tips and more information, like how (people) can build a kit. There's games you can play where go around your house and gather things, most people have enough stuff in their own home to build a kit without going out and spending money."