Editor’s note: This is the
first article in a series of articles during March in observance of Severe Weather
Soon, the cold temperatures
and snow will be gone and severe thunderstorms, along with tornado season will
Kansas observes Severe Weather
Awareness Week during the first week of March annually. Fort Riley observes
Severe Weather Awareness Month during March.
Severe weather can include severe
thunderstorms, as well as tornadoes, hail, lightning and flash flooding, and
often a combination of many at the same time.
According to the National Weather
Service, tornadoes can occur at any time of the year, but they are most likely
to occur during the spring and summer months of April, May and June, with a
peak during the last half of May and the first half of June across Northeast
Fort Riley is always
preparing for possible severe weather that could result in tornadoes and other
severe weather threats.
Throughout March, emergency
management at Fort Riley will be disseminating information relating to severe weather
and preparation, said Chris Hallenbeck, emergency management specialist,
Emergency Management Office, Directorate of Plans, Training, Mobilization and
Information booths were set
up March 7 at the Main Post Exchange, and another booth will be set up later in
the month at the Fort Riley Commissary. The purpose of the information booths
is to offer community members severe weather information and tips about
preparing for severe weather.
Additionally, Fort Riley will
be testing its emergency notification systems, like the Giant Voice System,
tornado sirens, the Little Voice System and the AtHoc notification system to
ensure they are ready should they be needed.
Fort Riley’s emergency
notification systems rely on the weather prediction of Fort Riley’s 2nd Weather
“Our weather guys, they deal
with our specific area,” Hallenbeck said. “They narrow it down to the greater (Central)
Flint Hills (Region).”
AtHoc is a messaging system,
which relays severe weather and other community alerts to community members affiliated
with Fort Riley and who have signed up to receive AtHoc messages.
AtHoc signup kiosks can be
found at Army Community Service, the Soldier Readiness Processing Center, In-processing
and the Defense Eligibility Enrollments Reporting System, or DEERS, ID card
Another messaging system for
both on and off post is the Immediate Response Information System, which can be
utilized by signing up at www.irisdispatch.com.
For more information about severe weather awareness or
for emergency preparedness, visit www.riley.army.mil/Community/ReadyArmy.aspx.