‘Storms’ on tap today

Published 12:00 am Wednesday, February 24, 2010

Sometime after 9 a.m., a tornado is expected to hit Covington County today – or at least one simulated for local emergency management and school officials as they participate in this year’s Severe Weather Awareness Week tornado drill.

The National Weather Service has designated the week of Feb. 22-26 for the event in both Alabama and Missis-sippi. Tuesday, Covington County EMA director Susan Carpenter said the recent snow event should stand as a “testament” of the suddenness of severe weather.

“Whether in the form of severe thunderstorms, tornadoes, flash floods – or even snow – severe weather can develop very quickly,” Carpenter said. “That’s why it’s so important to be prepared.

“Once a tornado approaches or flooding develops, it’s too late to start working on a preparedness plan,” she said.

Today, school officials will conduct a tornado drill to “test their procedures,” she said.

“It’s a great way to make sure they children know what to do in the event of a tornado and it’s a great way for schools to test and practice their procedures,” she said.

The drill will occur between 9 a.m. and 9:10 a.m. today, she said. The tornado sirens will not sound but be broadcasted over all weather radios.

“All weather radios are a fantastic resource to have during weather events,” she said.

On those, broadcasts are tailored to the needs of the people living within the listening area of a NWS transmitter. Locally, reports are given from a transmitter in Dozier and from station number KIH-59.

For more information on how to better prepare for severe weather, contact the county EMA office at 334-428-2670.