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Severe Weather Week reminder: Be prepared

Severe Weather Week is March 1-7 — not that Kentucky will experience severe weather during those days. But it’s a time that the National Weather Service uses to remind families and businesses of the possibility of severe weather, the damage it can cause and how to protect and prepare themselves during and after a weather event, said Boyle County Emergency Management Director Mike Wilder.

On Wednesday, March 4, a statewide tornado drill will begin at 10:07 a.m. In Danville and Boyle County, tornado warning sirens will go off, and a Code Red severe weather message will be sent to everyone who has registered for the free service. Many of the area schools will also conduct tornado drills, Wilder said.

The NWS said, however, if there are storms on that date, the statewide drill will be rescheduled at the same time on March 5, or canceled, Wilder said.

Code Red is a free notification service for residents in Boyle County where they will be notified by Wilder of any type of local emergency situation including tornados, closed roads due to down trees and flooding and even an active shooter, he said.

To register for Code Red, go to Boyleky.com, scroll to the bottom of the page, click on the Code Red button and fill out the information, Wilder said.

People should know where to shelter during a tornado, whether it’s a basement, safe room or in a downstairs closet or hallway away from windows. Shield your head and neck with your arms and put things such as furniture and blankets around you. Don’t try and outrun a tornado. And if you’re in a vehicle or outside and can’t get to a building, also cover your head and neck and surround yourself with a coat or blanket, Wilder said.

To prepare for severe thunderstorms with lightning, Wilder said the NWS suggests cutting down trees that may be endanger of falling on your home, and consider buying surge protectors, lightning rods or a lightning protection system.

During a storm, avoid running water or using landline phones, he said, because electricity can travel through plumbing and phone lines.

Families should also have a plan where everyone should meet in case they are separated — like at specific location in the Walmart parking lot, or even a stop sign down the road, Wilder said.

After a tornado or storm passes by, stay away from down lines; don’t enter damaged buildings; use a text or social media to communicate with family and friends instead of a phone call; and during clean up, wear thick-soled shoes, long pants and work gloves, Wilder said.