It’ll just be a drill- unless a wild tornado appears in the middle of a snowstorm- but it’s part of the state of Illinois’ observation of Severe Weather Preparedness Week.
Morgan County Emergency Services Coordinator Bob Fitzsimmons says all the tornado sirens in the county will go off at 10 a-m. He says it’s an opportunity to have system technicians make sure everything’s in working order before the start of severe weather season.
Fitzsimmons says it’s part of a laundry list of check-ups that will take place.
"For example, here at City Hall, we will actually test and take our power service down, so there’ll be a loss of power simulation to determine whether the generator works, whether all the EPS stuff works, to make sure we can continue radio operations, like with 911 calls,” he says.
He adds that anyone with a NOAA weather radio will get a test alert at 10:00. When those radio go off for a real emergency, it’s important to note that the National Weather Service issues a watch when severe weather or flash flooding is possible.
It usually is in effect for four to six hours, depending on the situation.
A warning is issued when either radar detects a tornado, severe thunderstorm or flash flood or it’s observed by trained storm spotters or public officials.
These warnings are for short-fused events that last an hour or so. People in the path of the storm are expected to take action to protect life and property when the term “warning” is heard.
Fitzsimmons says especially this time of year, residents need to be prepared for anything and everything.
“In Illinois, you always say, if you don’t like the weather, wait 24 hours- it’ll change, sometimes less than that,” Fitzsimmons says. “As we come to spring, based on our history, this gives us a little heads-up before we get into that truly high season for severe weather.”
Severe weather season lasts from April to June.
Tomorrow’s tornado drill will last for five to six minutes.