STATEWIDE TORNADO SAFETY DRILL IS FEB. 28, 10:07 A.M. EST
FRANKFORT, Ky. (February 21, 2017) – Governor Matt Bevin has signed a proclamation proclaiming March 1 – 7, 2017, as Severe Weather Awareness Week in Kentucky.
Partnering with Kentucky Emergency Management and the National Weather Service, the Frankfort/Franklin County Office of Emergency Management recognizes March 1 – 7, 2017, as “Severe Weather Awareness Week in Kentucky.”
Franklin County Judge Executive Huston Wells acknowledged the threats from severe weather saying, “All of our citizens deserve as much warning as possible from severe weather, regardless of the type of event it is. From flash floods to tornados, the threats are real. Concerning tornados Wells Added, “We have upgraded our outdoor warning system County-wide to better warn our citizens”. Wells also added “the tornado sirens are meant to be heard if you are outdoors, however if you are inside you need to have a working NOAA weather radio to be sure you are apprised of the latest weather alerts and warnings”.
Mayor Bill May said, “Weather is always a threat in Kentucky. Each year our citizens face the dangers of severe weather in many forms; from severe storms that create tornadoes and straight line winds, to deadly lightning, flooding, and severe winter storms.” May continued,” It is important to ensure your safety and the safety of your family. Plan ahead and know what to do when severe weather threatens our community.”
A statewide tornado drill is being conducted in conjunction with the Governor’s proclamation and you are encouraged to participate.
At approximately 10:07 a.m. EST, Tuesday, Feb 28, the National Weather Service, in partnership with Kentucky Emergency Management, the Kentucky Weather Preparedness Committee, and Kentucky Broadcasters Association will issue a tornado warning test message.
Outdoor warning sirens may sound across Kentucky communities; weather alert radios will activate; and television and radio stations and mobile devices will broadcast the alert. This drill will give the public the opportunity to practice tornado safety measures.
The broadcast test message will emphasize this is only a test of the alert system. During the test alert, all Kentuckians, businesses, hospitals, nursing homes, educators and government agencies are encouraged to practice their tornado safety drill and update their emergency plan.
Severe weather preparedness begins with knowing severe weather risks:
Step 1. Understand the type of hazardous weather that can affect where you live and work, and how the weather can impact you and your family.
Step 2. Check the weather forecast regularly. Get a NOAA Weather Radio and if you live or work in Franklin County download the free Ready Frankfort app at www.frankfortema.org/app for local alerts from emergency management officials.
Step 3. Develop a personal emergency plan that considers all types of local hazards and associated risks.
If you do not have a tornado plan; make one using these guidelines:
Designate a tornado shelter in an interior room on the lowest level of a building, away from windows.
Basements are best, but, if there is no basement, choose an interior bathroom, closet or other enclosed space on the lowest level of a building.
Tell everyone where the designated shelter is and post the location.
To conduct a tornado drill at home or work:
Announce the start of the drill.
Participants should act as though a tornado warning has been issued for the immediate area or a tornado has been sighted nearby. They should move as quickly as possible to the designated tornado shelter.
Once people reach predestinated safe areas, they should crouch as low as possible to the floor, facing down, covering their heads with their hands.
Once everyone has reached safe shelter, announce the mock tornado has passed and the drill is complete.
After the drill, perform an assessment. Determine if the shelter you chose was large enough for everyone, easy to get to and uncluttered.
Help emergency managers and weather officials improve weather notifications and awareness campaigns by completing a short online survey, available at http://kyem.ky.gov/preparedness/Pages/default.aspx.
During severe weather, if you are caught outdoors and unable to seek indoor shelter; lie flat in a nearby ditch or depression and cover your head with your hands. Be aware of the potential for flooding.
Remember, outdoor sirens are not designed to warn indoor inhabitants, and tornadoes also strike during the night. If you are asleep or don’t happen to have a television or radio turned on when a severe weather warning is issued; battery-backed weather alert radios are always on and ready to sound an alarm. This is the most effective way to monitor severe weather watches and warnings at any time of day or night.
Homes and businesses alike should have and monitor weather alert radios which automatically transmit NWS severe weather watches and warnings 24 hours a day.
Severe weather safety information and resources can be found at www.kyem.ky.gov, www.weather.gov and www.ready.gov.
Information on Frankfort/Franklin County Emergency Management is available at www.frankfortema.org or download the free app at www.frankfortema.org/app
If inclement weather is in the forecast on Feb 28, the Statewide Tornado Drill will be rescheduled.