Kentucky Emergency Management
STATEWIDE TORNADO SAFETY DRILL - MARCH 8TH 10:07 AM EST
FRANKFORT, Ky. (March 2, 2011) - At approximately 10:07 AM (Eastern Standard
Time) Tuesday, March 8, the National Weather Service (NWS), partnering with Kentucky Emergency Management (KYEM), Kentucky Weather Preparedness Committee (KWPC) and Kentucky Broadcast Association (KBA) will issue a tornado warning test message. Warning sirens will sound at this time across Kentucky communities, weather alert radios will activate and television and radio stations will broadcast the alert message.
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 message alert, all Kentuckians, businesses, hospitals, nursing homes and government agencies are encouraged to practice their tornado safety drill and update their emergency plan.
If you do not have a plan in place, consider these guidelines:
KYEM and NWS recommend designating 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 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 pre-designated 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 over.
* After the drill, perform an assessment. Determine whether the
shelter you chose was large enough for everyone, easy to get to and uncluttered. Remember that tornadoes strike at all hours, and you might not have the benefit of being fully awake when a tornado warning comes.
KYEM is offering an online survey form that each participate is encouraged to fill out and submit. This information will be used to help determine the effectiveness of the drill, ways to improve readiness and alert notifications.
Homes and businesses should also purchase their own radios, which transmit NWS severe weather watches and warnings automatically 24 hours a day.
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. It is the most effective way to monitor severe weather watches and warnings at any time of day or night.
Remember, outdoor sirens are not designed to warn indoor inhabitants.
If you are caught outdoors and unable to seek shelter inside, lie flat in a nearby ditch or depression and cover your head with your hands. Be aware of the potential for flooding.
Governor Steve Beshear signed a proclamation designating March as Severe Weather Awareness Month in Kentucky. The tornado safety drill is one of several local readiness activities in conjunction with the proclamation.
The survey, additional information, weather safety tips, helpful links and resources can be found on the KYEM website, at: www.kyem.ky.gov/weather.
If inclement weather is in the forecast on March 8, the Statewide Tornado Drill will be rescheduled.
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