Statewide tornado drill scheduled

Published 1:29 am Friday, February 24, 2017

Winter was over before it really began, and now it’s time to prepare for spring storms.

That’s the message Danville-Boyle County Emergency Management Director Mike Wilder gave to emergency officials and others gathered at the Local Emergency Planning Committee meeting on Wednesday.

“We’ve dealt with it before and we’ll deal with it again,” said Wilder during the meeting, referring to winter storms, if the weather changes back unexpectedly.

However, based on predictions from the National Weather Service, it’s time to prepare for tornados and thunderstorms, and that preparation will be kicked off with a statewide tornado drill this coming Tuesday. Then will come Severe Weather Awareness Week, beginning on Wednesday, March 1.

Gov. Matt Bevin has signed a proclamation declaring the week of weather awareness, which lasts until March 7.

Wilder said it’s important to have a plan in place, in case of a tornado: An interior room, such as a bathroom or closet, is the best place to seek shelter. People should select rooms with no windows on the lowest level of a building, such as a basement — put as many walls and floors between you and the tornado as possible, he said.

Wilder said families should include in their plan a place to meet after the danger has passed.

People should not seek shelter in a mobile home or car if a tornado is coming, he said.

Wilder said if someone is caught outside, they should lie flat in a nearby ditch or depression and cover their head with their hands. And, be mindful of flooding.

It’s also important to get a weather radio with a battery backup. That’s a good way to be prepared in the event of a severe weather situation. Outdoor sirens are not a replacement for weather radios — they are meant to warn those outdoors only, Wilder said.

There are no unusually bad storms being predicted at this point, he said, but those types of things are hard to predict.

Follow Kendra Peek on Twitter, @knpeek.

SO YOU KNOW

A statewide tornado drill will be held at 10:07 a.m. Tuesday. If inclement weather is expected, the drill will be rescheduled.