KENTUCKY (KFVS) - Partnering with Kentucky Emergency Management and the National Weather Service, McCracken County Emergency Management recognizes Feb 22-28 as Severe Weather Awareness Week in Kentucky.
As part of severe weather awareness activities, a statewide tornado drill is being conducted in conjunction with the proclamation.
At approximately 9:07 a.m. on Tuesday, February 23, the National Weather Service at Paducah, partnering with Kentucky Emergency Management, the Kentucky Weather Preparedness Committee, and the Kentucky Broadcasters Association will issue a tornado warning test message.
"Weather is always a threat in western Kentucky: Since December, in McCracken County we have experienced winter storms, a severe thunderstorm, minor flooding and high winds. Now, as spring approaches, our risk for severe storms and tornadoes is increasing," Jerome Mansfield, Paducah-McCracken County emergency management director. "This increased risk requires us to prepare for a weather emergency. It is important to ensure your safety and the safety of your family, to plan ahead and know what to do if a severe weather warning or a tornado warning is issued for our community."
The broadcast test message will emphasize that this warning is only a test of the alert system. During the test alert, all Kentuckians, businesses, hospitals, nursing homes, educators and government agencies are encouraged to practice their tornado safety drill and update their emergency plan.
Severe weather preparedness begins with knowing the risks:
- Step 1. Understand the type of hazardous weather that can affect where you live and work, and how the weather could impact you and your family.
- Step 2. Check the weather forecast regularly. Get a NOAA Weather Radio and sign up for localized alerts from emergency management officials.
- Step 3: Develop a personal emergency plan that considers all types of local hazards.
If you do not have a tornado plan in place, consider these guidelines:
- Designate 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.
During severe weather, if you are caught outdoors and unable to seek indoor shelter, lie flat in a nearby ditch or depression and cover your head with your hands. Be aware of the potential for flooding.
Remember, outdoor sirens are not designed to warn indoor inhabitants, and tornadoes also strike during the night. 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. This is the most effective way to monitor severe weather watches and warnings at any time of day or night.
Homes and businesses alike should have and should monitor weather alert radios, which automatically transmit NWS severe weather watches and warnings 24 hours a day.
KYEM is offering an online survey form that each participant is encouraged to complete and submit. The results will be used to help determine the effectiveness of the drill and to identify ways to improve readiness and alert notifications.
The survey, weather safety tips, helpful links and resources can be found by clicking here, where you can follow on Twitter, like on Facebook and sign up for mobile alert messages.
Additional information is on the National Weather Service's website by clicking here.
If inclement weather is in the forecast on February 23, the Statewide Tornado Drill will be rescheduled.