Statewide Tornado Drill set for Thursday

Published 8:47 am Tuesday, February 27, 2018

On Thursday morning, a concerning sound will sweep the state, as the severe weather sirens are set off. But don’t fear, said Danville-Boyle County Emergency Management Director Mike Wilder — they’re just part of a statewide tornado drill.

“We go through the same thing every year, but it’s still important to mention it,” Wilder said.

Boyle County’s CodeRed alert system will also be set off, sending calls, texts and emails those who have signed up.

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“It’s been a couple of years since we set off the CodeRed system,” Wilder said. “Anyone who wants to sign up, it’s very simple to do.”

The system can be signed up for on the Boyle County Fiscal Court’s website, at Wilder said those having difficulty can also call his office, (859) 238-1109, and he can walk them through it.

If there is a possibility for severe weather on Thursday, the drill will be cancelled or rescheduled, Wilder said.

There are about 1,200 tornadoes each year in the United States, Wilder said, mostly hitting east of the Rocky Mountains, in the central and southern plains, the Gulf Coast and in Florida.

While tornadoes can strike in any season, they most often hit in spring and summer, which is why the drills are done in March, he said. Wilder also said tornadoes can happen at any time during the day, but most frequently occur between 3 and 9 p.m.

He said it’s important to know the difference between a tornado watch and a warning:

• A tornado watch means weather conditions are right for a tornado. During that time, Wilder said, it’s important to make sure you’re listening to a NOAA weather radio and are getting prepared to take cover.

• A tornado warning means a tornado had been spotted or has been indicated on the weather radars.

“Tornadoes can strike quickly with little or no warning and sometimes appear invisible until they pick up debris,” Wilder said.

Flying debris is often the most dangerous aspect of a tornado, because it causes the most injuries to people, he said. “Protect your head.”


Severe weather sirens and the CodeRed system will be set off at 10:07 a.m. Thursday as part of the Statewide Tornado Drill. If there is bad weather anticipated, the drill will be cancelled or rescheduled.

Visit to sign up for the CodeRed system.

Danville-Boyle County Emergency Management Director Mike Wilder said it’s important to be prepared before severe weather strikes. To learn more about ways to be prepared, visit