The National Weather Service and the Nebraska Emergency Management Agency have announced March 19-23, 2012 as Severe Weather Awareness Week in Nebraska.
A statewide tornado safety drill will be conducted during the morning of March 21 between 10:00 a.m. and 11:00 a.m. There is no alternate date scheduled at this time should there be inclement weather on Wednesday.
All across Nebraska, each Emergency Management agency will participate in the tornado safety drill to prepare for the 2012 severe weather season.
Schools, hospitals, industries, public facilities, and citizens are also encouraged to test their readiness should a tornado or severe weather event actually occur.
Local outdoor warning sirens, NOAA Weather Radio alarms, and the Emergency Alert System will be activated to signal the start of the drill.
Actions should then be taken as if it were a real emergency. The drill will test everyone’s readiness for a life threatening severe weather event, such as a tornado. Other severe weather threats that must also be prepared for include: flash flooding, large hail, lightning, and damaging winds.
Severe Weather Awareness Week comes before the traditional peak tornado months of May, June, and July in Nebraska.
When atmospheric conditions are right, tornadoes can occur at any time of the year.
Central Nebraska has already seen severe weather in February and many other locations in the United States have suffered major damage and loss of life due to severe weather this year.
Questions or comments about tornado and severe weather preparedness or the annual drill should be directed to the Buffalo County Emergency Management office at (308) 233-3225 or the local National Weather Service office in Hastings.