Statewide tornado drill is Wednesday


Statewide Tornado Drill

This week is Severe Weather Awareness Week in Kentucky.

One of the activities of the week includes a statewide tornado drill Wednesday, March 6, that will also be enacted locally.

At approximately 10:07 a.m. Wednesday, the National Weather Service in partnership with Kentucky Emergency Management, the Kentucky Weather Preparedness Committee, and the Kentucky Broadcasters Association, will issue a test tornado warning message.

Outdoor sirens across the state will sound, weather alert radios will activate, and television and radio stations will broadcast the alert along with mobile devices.

The test will also include the activation of the four warning sirens located Lewis County.

These sirens are located at Tollesboro, Vanceburg, Black Oak, and Firebrick. These areas are some of the heavier populated communities where more residents are able to hear the sirens, said Emergency Management Director George Sparks.

Each siren is capable of notifying the public in its area of a possible tornado or other imminent danger.

During the test, the Alert Tone (siren) will sound for 30 seconds. In conjunction with the sirens, WKKS will be conducting a severe weather test. This will notify residents that the sirens and EAS are only tests.

Wednesday’s local siren activation will take the place of the usual monthly test that would have been on Thursday.

During the drill, all Kentucky residents, businesses, hospitals, schools, and government agencies are encouraged to participate in the test and update emergency plans as needed.

Severe Weather Awareness Week

“Testing your emergency plan during Severe Weather Awareness Week with family members and co-workers helps ensure we will all be ready for the next severe weather event that threatens our Commonwealth,” said KYEM director Michael Dossett.

A tornado sheltering area should be located in an interior room on the lowest level of a building and away from windows. A basement is preferred, but if there is no basement, consider using a bathroom or closet on the lowest level. Make sure that everyone in your family or business knows where the designated shelter is located.

If you are issuing a drill, participants should act as though an actual tornado warning has been issued or a tornado has been seen nearby. Go to your designated shelter as quickly as possible and crouch down as low as you can, facing down, and covering your head with your hands.

Once the drill is complete, perform an assessment and determine if the designated shelter was large enough to get to, easy to access, and uncluttered.

If you are stuck outdoors during a tornado warning, lie flat in a nearby ditch and cover your head with your hands.

For more information, visit the Kentucky Emergency Management website.

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