Tornado drill scheduled for March 6 in Kentucky

Published 1:17 pm Monday, February 26, 2024

The 2024 annual Kentucky Statewide Tornado Drill will occur Wednesday, March 6 at 10:07 a.m., Eastern Time, or 9:07 a.m., Central Time, as part of Kentucky’s Severe Weather Awareness Week activities.

During the drill, the National Weather Service (NWS), in partnership with Kentucky Emergency Management (KYEM), the Kentucky Weather Preparedness Committee (KWPC), and Kentucky Broadcasters Association, will issue a test tornado warning message. This will activate weather alert radios, outdoor warning sirens may sound, and many television and radio stations will broadcast the alert, giving everyone the opportunity to practice tornado safety.

This year, the tornado drill will activate the Emergency Alert System (EAS), including messaging over NOAA Weather Radio, local television and radio stations, and cable override. While the drill will not set off Wireless Emergency Alerts on your mobile phone, if you have a third-party weather app, the alarm function may be triggered.

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If severe weather is forecast for the test time, the drill will be postponed to a fair-weather day.

Emergency management officials have these suggestions:

  • Have a family tornado plan in place and practice a family tornado drill at least once a year.
  • Have a predetermined place to meet after a disaster.
  • Learn the signs of a tornado: dark, greenish sky; large hail; dark, low clouds; and loud roaring sounds.
  • When a tornado watch is issued, increase your situational awareness by monitoring the weather on, watching local TV, or listening to NOAA Weather Radio.
  • Flying debris is the greatest danger in tornadoes, so store protective coverings such as a mattress, sleeping bags, thick blankets, etc., at or near your shelter space, ready to use on a few seconds’ notice.
  • Put as many walls and floors between you and the tornado as possible.
  • If you are in a mobile home, get out. Go to a neighbors, underground shelter, or a nearby permanent structure.
  • When a tornado warning is issued, go to your basement and stay away from windows. If you have no basement, go to a small interior room like a bathroom or closet on the lowest floor and crouch down. Even in an interior room you should cover yourself with thick padding to protect against falling debris, such as the ceiling or roof.