Tornado drill planned today

The annual Kansas-Missouri tornado preparedness drill is planned this afternoon.

The tornado drill will be conducted between noon and 2 p.m. Tuesday, March 3, and is expected to be held around 1:30 p.m.

Conducted by the National Weather Service, the tornado drill will include a simulated tornado warning to be issued, and the all-hazards weather radio system will be activated.

The alerts messages will indicate this is a test of the system and not an actual tornado warning, according to a spokesman. The test will not be performed if there is threatening weather in the area, to avoid any confusion.

If the test is canceled because of the weather, the backup date will be Thursday, March 5.

Residents may listen to the simulated tornado warnings on the National Weather Service radio, local radio and television stations and listen for outdoor warning sirens. Do not rely solely on outdoor warning sirens as they are not designed to be heard in all locations within the county or inside buildings, according to a spokesman.

In Wyandotte County, the test will consist of sounding the tornado warning signal, a three-minute steady blast, on the emergency management outdoor warning sirens.

Residents may use this test as an opportunity to practice going to a tornado safe place such as above ground tornado shelters.

During a real tornado warning, residents should seek shelter in a basement or low-lying area. Motor vehicles and mobile homes are generally unsafe during tornadoes.

Actual tornadoes may be reported to the Emergency Management Department, 913-573-5300, or to the police and fire emergency numbers, through 911.

Wyandotte County is holding a free tornado severe weather awareness seminar at 7 p.m. Wednesday, March 18, at Kansas City Kansas Community College’s Performing Arts Center, 7250 State Ave., Kansas City, Kan.

The guest speaker will be Andy Bailey, warning coordination meteorologist with the National Weather Service, Pleasant Hill, Mo.

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