There will be a statewide tornado drill today as part of Severe Weather Awareness Week. The National Weather Service plans to test response systems between 10 and 10:15 this morning. We at KNIA/KRLS will also be testing our equipment, including our Emergency Alert System and our back-up generators, so the coverage goes on even when the power is off.
Marion County Emergency Management Coordinator Jeff Anderson says that in the case of a tornado, you should head below ground or in a small, windowless room. He says this would be the perfect time to turn to KNIA/KRLS and get the local storm information.
Marcia Slycord, Communications Supervisor at the Pella Police Department tells KNIA/KRLS News that Wednesday’s test is an opportunity for people to familiarise themselves with the sirens, and how they should react. Slycord says that families should have a plan on how to react in a severe weather situation. Slycord says that the intent behind the drill today is to remind people to make sure they are prepared for severe weather before it strikes.
If you’re traveling and hear the sirens, Anderson says to be aware of the traffic around you. Turn to a local radio station and listen to the emergency information they give as well.
Last year, the National Weather Service says that there were 51 tornadoes in the state. More than 500 people were injured or killed nationwide from twisters.