WAVERLY – This week is Severe Weather Awareness Week.

National Weather Service in Valley Lead Meteorologist Van DeWald said there was important information people could use to help prepare for the severe weather season.

DeWald said severe weather season encompasses the months of March through June, with May and June being the primary months for severe weather.

He said the station usually helps train volunteer storm spotters, police and firefighters to recognize the signs of severe weather.

This season, however, the station has been forced to shift focus slightly.

“Our main issue we will be focusing on for now is the potential flooding where levies break,” said DeWald.

DeWald said while there was no clear picture yet of specific severe weather this season, flooding is still a very real concern.

He warned that a great deal of snow has yet to melt in some states. Once it does, this will feed into the larger rivers that are already at high levels, including the Platte and Missouri rivers, increasing the chances of more flooding.

“There is an increased risk of potential flooding this spring and early summer,” DeWald said.

Other potential severe weather the news is warning about this week includes tornadoes, thunderstorms and lightning.

Waverly Fire Chief Rodger Alley said while it is often hard to tell what exactly the weather will do, it is best to always be prepared to leave in a hurry.

He also suggested forming a game plan with family members or fellow building residents. Deciding on a meeting point in the case of an emergency is one of the best ways to make sure everyone is accounted for when the time comes.

Alley said especially with the increased risk of flooding, it would be best of people prepare for the need to quickly grab and move important files and papers, such as birth certificates, passports and other documentation.

“These sorts of things can’t be replaced easily,” Alley said.

He said to listen for local weather reports for up to date details and adapt the plan accordingly.

“Just be ready, you never know when it could happen,” Alley said.

More information about severe weather week can be found at https://www.weather.gov/gld/NebraskaSevereWeatherAwarenessWeek.

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