Officials: Preparation is key to safety during storm -

Officials: Preparation is key to safety during storm

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( – Emergency crews across the St. Louis area are preparing for thunderstorms set to arrive Wednesday.

Officials say preparation is very important. One official even cited the Good Friday and Joplin tornadoes to highlight that point.

"Think about the day before those storms happened, it was just a normal day, nobody was expecting it to be as severe as it really was,” said Mark Diedrich with St. Louis County Police Emergency Management.

Diedrich also noted the difficulty in getting the public’s attention for a thunderstorm compared to a snowstorm, but urged residents should take this type if storm just as seriously.

"Until the storm actually hits there's really not a whole lot we can do except get the word out and make sure that people are prepared," Diedrich said.

Fire crews in St. Charles County are getting ready by checking equipment and gassing up chain saws that may be used on downed tree limbs.

Officials also stress having a flashlight on hand and a back-up plan in the event of a power outage.

"A lot of parents rely on a latchkey kid to come in through the garage," said Central County Fire and Rescue Chief Russ Mason. "What if the electricity goes out? Do they have a key? Do they have some way to get in the house?"

Emergency officials say the most common calls they receive on storm-filled days are about downed tree limbs, and power lines, high water and lightning strikes.

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