Washington County to raise public awareness about severe weatherWashington County’s Emergency Management Team will be raising the public’s awareness on severe weather information during the summer months.
By: Special to the Bulletin, Woodbury Bulletin
Washington County’s Emergency Management Team will be raising the public’s awareness on severe weather information during the summer months.
Severe Weather Awareness week is April 20-24 and there will be two tornado drills on Thursday, April 23.
Outdoor warning sirens will sound countywide at 1:45 p.m. and 6:55 p.m. County citizens share in the need to prepare for severe weather as a year-round necessity in Minnesota.
Did you know?
• There are outdoor warning sirens located strategically throughout the county. However, a battery-operated, all-hazard weather alert radio is highly recommended for each household or business because not everyone will be able to hear a siren. Preferably, a weather alert radio should be located in both a commonly occupied room in a building and in the room to be used as safe shelter.
• Sirens will sound when a tornado warning is issued or when sustained winds are more than 76 mph. Most likely sirens will be activated in more than one community because a tornado is a moving target and its path of travel may impact more than one community.
• Outdoor warning sirens are tested monthly at 1 p.m. on the first Wednesday from March through November. If a citizen cannot hear the test siren, having an all-hazard weather alert radio could be a life-saver.
• Washington County does not issue an all-clear siren signal as this could confuse residents. If a citizen lives or works in or near another county, be aware of outdoor warning siren protocols for that county, too.
• Washington County recommends that citizens seek a safe shelter when sirens are heard and stay there until the all-hazard weather alert radio, TV, or radio states that the tornado warning is over. Occasionally people will stand outside to watch the weather, but this is considered to be an unsafe practice. The media will show photographs afterwards.
• Advances in technology make it feasible for tornado warnings to be sent to cell phones and computers. Several local TV stations provide severe weather information to cell phones by signing up for mobile services on their websites. Severe weather services are also available from TV stations to e-mail news alerts to a computer, too.
• Reminder: a tornado watch is issued when conditions are favorable for a tornado; a tornado warning is issued when severe weather has been reported or is imminent.
April is the month to refresh preparations for severe weather awareness. However, severe weather can happen most any month in Minnesota. Initially, knowing the methods of being alerted to severe weather and having a family preparations plan will help keep citizens safe. In addition, following instructions by first responders after a tornado has caused destruction will help keep county citizens safer.
For more information on severe weather, go to the county website and select one or more of the helpful subjects listed under the Emergency Management www.co.washington.mn.us/info_for_residents/public_health/emergency_management/