Severe weather awareness week March 1-7

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Tornado Photo MGN Online

FRANKFORT, Ky. (WTVQ) – On Monday, Gov. Andy Beshear signed a proclamation designating March 1-7, 2020, Severe Weather Awareness Week in Kentucky.

According to officials as part of severe weather awareness activities, a statewide tornado drill will occur at approximately 10:07 a.m. EST/9:07 a.m. CST, Wednesday, March 4.

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They say the drill is in partnership with the National Weather Service, Kentucky Division of Emergency Management, Kentucky Weather Preparedness Committee and Kentucky Broadcasters Association.

Across Kentucky, outdoor warning sirens will sound, weather alert radios will activate and television and radio stations will broadcast the alert, along with mobile devices, according to officials at the governors office.

“Severe weather knows no boundaries and we must do everything we can to prepare and protect Kentucky families,” said Gov. Beshear. “This drill provides businesses, hospitals, nursing homes, government agencies and schools with a great opportunity to update emergency plans and practice ways to stay safe during a tornado.”

Officials recommend the following:

A good tornado plan should:

  • Designate a tornado sheltering area in an interior room on the lowest level of a building and 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.
  • Ensure employees or family members know where the designated shelter is located.

To conduct a tornado drill at home or work:

  • Announce the start of the drill.
  • Participants should act as though a tornado warning has been issued for the immediate area or a tornado has been sighted nearby.
  • They should move as quickly as possible to the pre-designated tornado shelter.
  • Once people reach a pre-designated safe area, they should crouch as low as possible to the floor, facing down, covering their heads with their hands.
  • Once everyone has reached safe shelter, announce the mock tornado has passed and the drill is complete.
  • After the drill, perform an assessment. Determine if the designated shelter was large enough for everyone, easy to access and uncluttered.
  • Help emergency managers and weather officials improve weather notifications and awareness campaigns by completing a short online survey, available at kyem.ky.gov/Preparedness/Pages/Tornado.aspx.

If caught outdoors and unable to access an indoor shelter during a tornado warning, lie flat in a nearby ditch or depression and cover your head with your hands. Be aware of the potential for flooding.