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A statewide tornado drill was conducted this morning as part of Severe Weather Preparedness Week. Sirens sounded the alert all across Kansas.
Did you know that the primary function of a tornado warning siren is for those folks who are outside? Persons inside their home or business should rely on other notification methods – weather radios, public alerts through radio/TV, or other notification services. (Check the information below to sign up to receive notifications for just Miami County.)
Tornadoes can occur any time of the day or night and while most common in the Plains states and the southeastern United States, tornadoes have been reported in every one of the 50 states!
Know where you would go if a tornado strikes. A public tornado shelter is located in the basement of the Louisburg Fire Station, 205 S. Metcalf. Fire Chief Gerald Rittinghouse said when the tornado sirens are activated, the shelter will open. Those wanting to use the shelter will be required to wear a mask while in the facility and are encouraged to maintain social distancing. Rittinghouse said residents can bring their well-behaved dog or cat as long as the animal is crated throughout the stay. He also suggests that residents bring their medications as well as snacks for themselves and food for their pets in the event they are required to shelter in place for an extended time period. A lift is provided for those persons unable to navigate the stairs. The shelter can be accessed through the parking lot located behind the station. Those using the shelter should park in that lot and enter the shelter on the southeast corner of the building.
Do you know the difference between a tornado watch and warning?
Tornado Watch: Be Prepared! Tornadoes are possible in and near the watch area. Review and discuss your emergency plans (learn how to create your own personal tornado safety plan at: www.ready.gov/tornadoes) and check supplies and your safe room. Be ready to act quickly if a warning is issued or you suspect a tornado is approaching. Acting early can save lives. Watch areas are typically large, covering numerous counties or even states.
Tornado Warning: Take Action! A tornado has been sighted or indicated by weather radar or by trained spotters/law enforcement. There is imminent danger to life and property. Move to an interior room on the lowest floor of a sturdy building. Avoid windows. If in a mobile home, a vehicle, or outdoors, move to the closest substantial shelter and protect yourself from flying debris. Warnings typically encompass a much smaller area (around the size of a city or small county).
Miami County residents can receive alerts via text, email or phone through the County’s emergency notification system, Everbridge. Sign up for Everbridge on the Miami County page on that website at: https://bit.ly/2Xw1XJT. Residents may also text MICOALERTS to 888777 to opt in. You will receive a reply with a link to follow to create an account.
(Some of this information and the graphic have been provided by the National Weather Service.)