LOUISVILLE, KY (WAVE) - The prediction of severe weather has forced the rescheduling of Kentucky's statewide tornado drill.
Governor Matt Bevin signed a proclamation declaring March 1-7 as Severe Weather Awareness Week in the Bluegrass. The statewide drill, which normally serves as the kick-off for the week, will no longer take place February 28. Instead, the drill heard across Kentucky go off Friday, March 3 at 10:07 AM.
The National Weather Service (NWS), Louisville Metro Emergency Services, Kentucky Emergency Management (KYEM), the Kentucky Weather Preparedness Committee (KWPC), and Kentucky Broadcasters Association will issue a test tornado warning message.
Across Jefferson County, outdoor warning sirens will sound, weather alert radios will activate and Wave 3 News will broadcast the alert, in addition to radio stations.
To conduct a tornado drill at home or at work, officials suggest practicing the following:
- Announce the start of the drill.
- Participants should act as through a tornado warning has been issued for the immediate area or a tornado has been sighted nearby.
- Move as quickly as possible to the pre-designated tornado shelter.
- Crouch as low as possible to the floor, facing down, covering heads with hands.
- 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 get access and uncluttered.
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Officials say a good tornado plan should designate a tornado sheltering area in an interior room on the lowest lever of the 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. Ensure everyone knows where the designated shelter is located.
If you are caught outdoors and unable to seek indoor shelter during the warning, lie flat in a nearby ditch or depression and cover your head with your hands. Be aware of the potential for flooding, says officials.
Outdoor sirens are designed to warn people outdoors to seek shelter immediately and are not designed to warn those inside. A battery backup weather alert radio is recommended and is the most effective way to monitor, and receive alerts via phone call, email and/or text.
Officials suggest signing up for LENSAlert, a Louisville Emergency Notification System that alerts Louisville, Bullitt County, Oldham County and Washington County of emergencies, including weather, hazardous materials incidents and more. LENSAlert allows residents to create a Safety Profile through Smart911 for themselves and their household that can include any information desired for 911 and first responders to have in the event of an emergency.
"The capabilities of LENSAlert provides us with an even better ability to issue real-time emergency alerts and notifications to help inform residents," said Jody Meiman, Louisville's Emergency Services Director. "This will improve safety in our city and help inform residents of potentially lifesaving steps they may need to take during emergency incidents."