Climatologist: Don’t get caught in a storm without your helmet and tennis shoes

With severe weather on the way, it’s important to have a plan. A Kansas State University climatologist says that plan should include an emergency kit, including a helmet and tennis shoes.

“The best warning in the world with the most advance knowledge is not going to help if people don’t proactively respond to that and seek the shelter that they need,” said Mary Knapp, service climatologist in the university’s agronomy department.

Tornadoes have already taken several lives this year, and severe weather season is far from over. Knapp says it is critical to have a severe weather plan for you and your family, not only for your home but other places you are throughout the day like work and school. Also have an emergency kit ready to go. The kit should include food, water, a weather radio, cash and your medication. Having some type of helmet nearby also is useful.

“When they did an analysis of the Joplin tornado, one of the things that came to the attention of emergency management professionals was that there were a lot of head injuries,” Knapp said. “So put a bicycle helmet or another kind of protective head gear on during a tornado to reduce the risk of head injury from debris or falling structures.”

Knapp suggests getting underneath a sturdy support to avoid the debris during a tornado. Also, put on some tennis shoes to prepare for the large amount of debris following the storm.

“After an event like that, there’s a lot of broken glass all over the place,” Knapp said. “It can be in the carpet, it can be in the grass. Having sturdy shoes is your best protection. By sturdy shoes I don’t mean flip-flops, I mean tennis shoes or boots.”

Keep in mind that tornadoes are not the only threat that comes with severe weather. Flash flooding, hail and heavy winds also can be hazardous, so keep your eye on the sky and always have a plan.

Israel is 66 – Yom HaAtzmaut Celebration

Community-wide Israel Independence Day celebration takes place May 6
The Kansas City community is invited to celebrate the 66th anniversary of Israel at a celebration on Tuesday, May 6, in the social hall of the Jewish Community Campus, 5801 W. 115th St. in Overland Park, Kansas. The festivities will begin at 5:30 p.m. and continue until around 8 p.m.
The modern nation – first recognized by Kansas City native son Harry Truman when he was president – turns 66 this month. Join Kansas City’s Jewish community as it celebrates Israel’s birthday with traditional Israeli food, music and dance. The program is free and sponsored by the Israel Committee of the Jewish Federation of Greater Kansas City.
This area has close ties with Israel – Kansas City, Missouri, has a sister city relationship with the city of Ramla, Israel, just outside of Tel Aviv. Leawood, Kansas, has a partnership with the Gezer Region in Israel.
The birthday celebration will feature Israeli food by created by Steve Ellenberg, fun kids’ activities, including Sifryat Pajama (Israeli PJ Library). Those attending the festivities will be able to take tourist-style photos in Israel (with the help of technology) and make care packages for Israel Defense Force soldiers. Live entertainment will include the Tizmoret Orchestra as well as the Encore Dance Troupe of the Jewish Community Center and the Hyman Brand Hebrew Academy Choir. Food is available for a nominal fee.
For more information, go to  or please contact Yahav Barnea, the local Israeli emissary at or 913-327-8124.

KCKCC’s 2014 Business Solution series continues May 13

by Kelly Rogge
The 2014 Business Solution Series at Kansas City Kansas Community College will continues next week with a discussion on the Affordable Care Act.

The breakfast is from 8 to 9:30 a.m. Tuesday, May 13, at KCKCC,  Flint Building. Alson Martin from Lathrop and Gage will give the presentation. This is the last of five monthly meetings designed to help further economic expansion in Wyandotte and Leavenworth counties. The cost is $10 and reservations can be made by contacting KCKCC Workforce Development at 913-288-7660 or by email at

The session will focus on the Affordable Care Act and the complexities of health insurance, especially to a business owner. Attendees will learn what small business owners, employers and individuals need to know about legislation as well as other healthcare reform facts, legal compliance, types of retirement plans and the advantages, opportunities and possible penalties related to the Affordable Care Act.

Martin is a recognized national authority in the field of business law, taxation, healthcare and employee benefits. He is also the author of “Healthcare Reform Facts, Limited Liability Companies and Partnerships.”

The series is developed and created by KCKCC Workforce Development in conjunction with the Wyandotte Economic Development Council, Kansas City, Kan., Area Chamber of Commerce, the Unified Government of KCK-Wyandotte County, the Kansas Black Chamber of Commerce, the Leavenworth County Development Corporation and the Leavenworth, Lansing Chamber of Commerce.

For more information about the Business Solutions Series, contact Marisa Gray at or by phone at 913-288-7660.