Wednesday’s Tornado Drill Highlights Severe Weather Awareness Week

LINCOLN–(KFOR Mar. 27)–Severe weather awareness week in Nebraska culminated Wednesday morning with the statewide tornado drill.

Outdoor warning sirens sounded and text alerts were sent as part of the test. It’s also marked the perfect time to rehearse your action plan at home or work. If couldn’t do it then, you can do it at anytime and have it documented by the Lancaster County Emergency Management office.

“Anytime you want to conduct a drill, at your business, at home, at school….I encourage you to get on and fill out that participation form,” Lancaster County Emergency Management director Jim Davidsaver said.   “I will certainly give you credit for you testing your sheltering.”

The information to obtain that online form can be found by clicking this link: Lancaster County Emergency Management Tornado Drill Form.

Davidsaver says as for the warning system, sirens are for outdoor warning only and you should not rely on them solely to remind you to take cover at home or work.  Receiving alerts from commercial media, like KFOR and our other AlphaMedia Lincoln radio stations, or text alerts are other ways to get notified of when a tornado watch or tornado warning has been issued.  A weather radio is another option.

When a severe thunderstorm or tornado watch are issued, it means the conditions are favorable for the development of severe thunderstorms or tornadoes to occur in and close to the watch area.  A warning of any kind means that it’s already happening or is eminent.

Davidsaver tells KFOR News just keep close tabs on the weather forecast and know what to do when storms strike.  Especially, if you are going to be outdoors for any length of time.

“If you think there is a likelihood that your day, your event, your continuity of operations is going to be disrupted by severe weather, pay attention to that,” Davidsaver added.

When taking shelter at home, get to the basement in an area away from windows, preferably in a reinforced space or under a sturdy table.  If no basement, go to an interior room, closet or hallway.   People that live in mobile homes should evacuate and go to a designated storm shelter in the mobile home court.

In apartments or high-rise buildings, you should take shelter in the lowest level possible away from windows or glass doors.

More information about tornado safety can be found at weather.gov/omaha.