Kentucky Severe Weather Awareness Week and Statewide Tornado Drill

March 04, 2019


Media Contact: Mitchell Burmeister, 565-7842


Severe Weather Awareness Week is March 1-7

City officials encourage all citizens to Be Aware, Be Prepared, and Have a Plan for severe weather.

LOUISVILLE, Ky., March 4, 2019 –   Governor Matt Bevin has signed a proclamation designating March 1 – 7, 2019, as Severe Weather Awareness Week in Kentucky.  Severe weather knows no boundaries and impacts every individual in every region of the Commonwealth. Because of this, you need to BE AWARE – BE PREPARED – HAVE A PLAN!

A statewide tornado safety drill will be conducted at approximately 10:07 a.m. EST, Wednesday, March 6.  The National Weather Service (NWS), in partnership with Louisville Metro Emergency Services, Kentucky Emergency Management (KYEM), the Kentucky Weather Preparedness Committee (KWPC), and Kentucky Broadcasters Association will issue a test tornado warning message. 

Across Jefferson County, outdoor warning sirens will sound, weather alert radios will activate, and television and radio stations will broadcast the alert; allowing the public the opportunity to practice tornado safety.

Jefferson County will also test its capability of issuing a Wireless Emergency Alert. At the same time as the tornado drill, Emergency Services will issue an emergency alert using its LENSAlert System’s capability to push an emergency message to all cell phones in Jefferson County. More on Wireless Emergency Alerts here:

To conduct a tornado drill at home or work:

  • Announce the start of the drill. 
  • Participants should act as though a tornado warning has been issued for the immediate area or a tornado has been sighted nearby.
  • They should move as quickly as possible to the pre-designated tornado shelter.
  • Once people reach pre-designated safe areas, they should crouch as low as possible to the floor, facing down, covering their heads with their hands.
  • Once everyone has reached safe shelter, announce the mock tornado has passed and the drill is complete.
  • After the drill, perform an assessment.  Determine if the designated shelter was large enough for everyone, easy to get access and uncluttered.

A good tornado plan should:

  • Designate a tornado sheltering area in an interior room on the lowest level of a building and away from windows.  Basements are best, but if there is no basement, choose an interior bathroom, closet, or other enclosed space on the lowest level of a building. 
  • Ensure employee or family members know where the designated shelter is located.

If caught outdoors and unable to seek indoor shelter during a tornado warning, lie flat in a nearby ditch or depression and cover your head with your hands.  Be aware of the potential for flooding.

Remember, outdoor sirens are designed to warn people outdoors to seek shelter immediately and are NOT designed to warn indoor inhabitants.  Tornadoes can, and do, strike each month of the year during both day and night when people are more vulnerable and may not have a television or radio turned on when a severe weather warning is issued.  A battery back-up weather alert radio is recommended and is the most effective way to monitor, and receive, severe weather watches and warnings because they are always on and ready to sound an alarm and at any time of day or night. 

Homes and businesses alike should have and monitor weather alert radios, which transmit NWS severe weather watches and warnings automatically, 24 hours a day.

Louisville Metro Emergency Services also encourages all residents to sign up for LENSAlert to receive notifications of severe weather events and other emergencies. Individuals can receive alerts via phone call, email, push notifications, and/or text. Multiple addresses can be monitored to allow someone to monitor their home address, school address or work address. LENSAlert is connected to Smart911 – a lifesaving service. Please sign up here:

Smart911 is now available in an App!

Get the app here:







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