Kentucky prepares for incoming severe weather

Kentucky prepares for incoming severe weather
Published: Mar. 2, 2023 at 9:57 PM EST
Email This Link
Share on Pinterest
Share on LinkedIn

LEXINGTON, Ky. (WKYT) - It’s all hands on deck for emergency management crews across the region ahead of Friday’s severe weather. The state EOC crews are all on standby, waiting to respond at a moment’s notice.

It can be the days, hours, and even minutes leading up to potential severe weather...that sometimes count the most for emergency management crews.

“We’re talking to our area managers. We have 10 of those spread out in 10 different areas through the state,” said Kentucky Division of Emergency Management Director Jeremy Slinker. “They all have a certain amount of counties they cover. We want to make sure we have that connection with what’s going on at the local county and city levels.”

Slinker says right now, communication between the state agency, county agencies, and even neighboring states is key.

“We’ve been through it. We know what helps, what’s a better way, what’s a more efficient way,” said Slinker. “After each of the past events, we’ve talked about these things and implement them in the future.”

Slinker says everyone is on standby at this point going forward. The state EOC has also assigned the situation an incident number already. He says they can put information regarding severe weather and where it’s happening in one place online. Accessible for their team and every EMA in the state.

“You have to stay in a constant state of preparedness,” said Slinker. “From winter weather, high winds, tornadoes, severe storms, at any time of the year. That’s what this has taught us, as well.”

Slinker says there’s a large population of people around the state they’re very concerned for. The several hundred families living in travel trailers following previous major storms, like the flooding in Eastern Kentucky and the tornadoes in the Western part of the state.

“Just like in the Christmas arctic storm, we’re not leaving those people behind now either,” Slinker said. “There’s sheltering in our program, and we take their safety very seriously. We’re making sure they get all of those advanced warnings and alerts. As well as, where do you shelter, where can you go, if the impending weather is coming in.”

Slinker says they even have crews physically going door to door to make sure those in travel trailers have the needed radios or other ways to get alerts ahead of Friday.