Annual drill reminds of importance of weather preparedness

Published 8:09 am Saturday, March 3, 2018

Students around Clark County had their hands behind their hands and curled into balls at precisely 10:07 a.m. Thursday as part of the annual statewide tornado drill.

Across Kentucky outdoor warning sirens sounded, weather alert radios were activated, TV and radio stations broadcast the alert as did mobile devices.

People around the Commonwealth, Clark students included, were given the opportunity to practice tornado safety measures.

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The annual drill helps remind students what they should in the case of a tornado, but also serves as a reminder of the importance preparedness in other weather scenarios.

The drill also marked Severe Weather Awareness Week, which is March 1-7 this year.

Severe weather can impact all Kentuckians, as the recent flooding from extreme rainfall proves.

It can be unexpected, frightening and life-threatening.

That is why preparedness and practices, like the annual tornado drill, are important. It’s better to know what to do before you have to do it.

According to Kentucky Emergency Management, “Each year, severe weather causes extensive damage and creates hardships throughout the Commonwealth. Severe weather is the most dangerous and common threat that Kentuckians face on a daily basis. Often severe weather causes serious injuries and loss of life; tragically, some of which may have been prevented.

“Weather-related threats occur throughout the year from tornadoes, flooding, straight-line winds, lightning and winter storms. Every household should always be prepared to face these challenges.”

Other severe weather scenarios could include extreme heat and flash flooding.

KYEM’s motto is “Be aware. Be prepared. Have a plan.”

Here are some tips to be prepared and plan ahead in the case of severe weather:

— Develop a disaster plan for your family that touches on what to do at work, school or when caught outdoors.

— Identify a safe place to take shelter.

— Follow weather warnings on radio or television.

— Check forecasts before lacing for extended times outdoors and watch for approaching sorts.

— If severe weather threatens, check on people who are elderly, very young or with mental or physical challenges. Don’t forget to check on and secure pets and farm animals.

— In the case of tornadoes, seek sturdy shelter. Go to the lowest level of the building, preferably a basement, or move to an interior room with as many walls between you and the outdoors as possible. Get under a heavy desk or table or sit next to the wall. Cover your head with your arms or hands. Leave manufactured homes to find more sturdy shelter. If you are outside, do not seek shelter in highway overpasses. Lie flat on the ground and cover your head with your hands.

— If lightning is a threat, postpone outdoor activities. Move to a sturdy shelter or vehicle. Stay away from tall objects such as tree, towers or poles. If you are in a vehicle and lightning strikes, do not touch metal objects inside.

— When flash flooding occurs, do not drive into flooded areas. Do not walk through flooded areas. If you are outdoors, move to higher ground. Don’t operate electrical tools in flooded areas.

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