Covering Kentucky

Mar 4, 2013 3:50 PM

Statewide Tornado Drill Set For Tuesday

In conjunction with Severe Weather Awareness Month, the Lexington Division of Emergency Management will participate in the statewide tornado drill. At approximately 10:07 AM EST, Tuesday, March 5, the National Weather Service (NWS), partnering with Kentucky Emergency Management (KYEM), Kentucky Weather Preparedness Committee (KWPC) and Kentucky Broadcasters Association (KBA) will issue a tornado warning test message.

Outdoor warning sirens will sound across Kentucky communities, weather alert radios will activate and television and radio stations will broadcast the alert - allowing the public the opportunity to practice tornado safety drill. The broadcast test message will emphasize this is only a test of the alert system, as schools across the Commonwealth use this time to conduct their annual statewide tornado drill. During the test alert, all Kentuckians, businesses, hospitals, nursing homes and government agencies are encouraged to practice their tornado safety drill and update their emergency plan.

In Lexington, students at Liberty Elementary School will join others in taking part in the tornado drill.

"It's important to remember that tornadoes and severe storms with high winds can happen any time of year," said Pat Dugger, director of the Division of Emergency Management. "In addition to having a working NOAA all-hazards weather radio at home and at work, it's important to know where the safe room or storm shelter is."

Before severe weather happens, make sure you have an out-of-town emergency family contact. Designate a nearby place or landmark to meet after a disaster, if family members are unable to seek shelter together.

A mobile home or other manufacturer housing is not safe during severe weather. It's important to leave and seek shelter elsewhere in an approved tornado shelter or other sturdy structure.

If your house has a basement, that is the safest place to be during severe weather. Avoid areas in the basement where heavy objects like pianos or waterbeds set on the floor above. In a house without a basement, it's important to avoid windows. Identify an interior room, like a bathroom or closet and crouch as low as possible. Cover yourself and others with thick padding, like a mattress or blankets to protect from falling or windblown debris.

If you're caught in your vehicle on the road during severe weather and cannot drive to a safe shelter, park the car out of traffic and stay inside with the seat belt on. Avoid seeking shelter under bridges.

After a tornado or severe weather event that causes damage, keep family members together and wait for emergency responders to arrive. Stay away from any downed power lines. If you smell gas, leave the structure or area immediately and do not use matches or lighters. Try to remain calm and help those around you who may be injured.

More information about emergency preparedness is available from the Division of Emergency Management website available here.

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