Just last week, Governor Steve Beshear proclaimed March Kentucky's official Severe Weather Awareness Month. The governor signed his statement just one day following Louisville's failure to warn residents of actual tornados during the morning's wee hours.
Severe weather awareness officially begins at 10:07 a.m. EST, Tuesday, March 8, 2011 with a statewide Tornado Drill. It will be the first time the National Weather Service (NWS) is authorized to a test drill through Louisville Metro's Emergency Alert System.
Normally, sirens are tested on the second Tuesday of each month at noon. On Tuesday, March 8, the sirens will not sound at noon as usual.
Tomorrow's annual test is coordinated by the National Weather Service (NWS), Kentucky Emergency Management (KYEM), Kentucky Weather Preparedness Committee (KWPC) and Kentucky Broadcasters Association (KBA). These organizations are working with Jefferson County Public Schools, the University of Louisville, and Louisville Metro in tomorrow's annual drill.
The siren and tornado drill test will activate weather alert radios and broadcast media messages. Schools, business, and citizens statewide are encouraged to practice their tornado safety plan during the test.
"Be Aware, Be Prepared, Have a Plan!"
Director of Kentucky Division of Emergency Management (KYEM) John W. Heltzel said, "Although the state and local governments are expected to assist the public during [weather disasters], preparedness starts at home. In the event of large scale disasters the government may be unable to respond immediately." Heltzel recommends having a 3-day supply of food and water for each member of your family, and necessary medicines, flash lights, a radio, batteries, matches, candles and first aid supplies, among others.
For more information about preparing your family or business for threats of severe weather, to read the Governor's proclamation, or to access the Tornado Safety Survey, visit the Kentucky Division of Emergency Management website at kyem.ky.gov/weather .
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Image: Courtesy of Kentucky Division of Emergency Management