Wednesday, March 2, 2022, will mark the tenth anniversary of the deadly West Liberty, KY tornado, and other deadly tornadoes near the region. On that day, 41 people lost their lives due to tornadoes, almost all in Kentucky, Indiana, and Ohio. The somber anniversary will undoubtedly renew memories of the destruction that severe weather hazards in the Ohio River Valley can cause.
In addition, Kentucky is still recovering after the recent December 10-11, 2021, and January 1, 2022 tornado outbreaks. The scars left on many communities from the deadliest tornado outbreak in Kentucky history will be felt for years to come.
Severe weather knows no boundaries and impacts every individual in every region of the Commonwealth. Because of this, everyone needs to BE AWARE – BE PREPARED – HAVE A PLAN!
A Statewide Tornado Safety Drill will be conducted at 10:07 am EST, Wednesday, March 2.
In addition, Severe Weather Awareness Week will be observed from Monday, February 28, through Sunday, March 6, 2022.
During the drill, the National Weather Service (NWS), in partnership with Kentucky Emergency Management (KYEM), the Kentucky Weather Preparedness Committee (KWPC), and Kentucky Broadcasters Association, will issue a test tornado message that will activate weather alert radios. All Kentuckians are encouraged to practice their tornado safety actions at home, school, or work. In addition, Lexington Emergency Management will activate its network of outdoor warning sirens with either a siren tone or chimes. Many television and radio stations may interrupt programming to cover the tornado drill.
This year, alerts will not activate the Emergency Alert System (EAS), or cable overrides and test messages do not activate Wireless Emergency Alerts (WEA). In addition, if inclement weather is forecast for March 2, the Statewide Tornado Drill will be postponed to Thursday, March 3, or canceled.
“Whether it’s the April 3, 1974, Super Outbreak, the West Liberty and Salyersville March 2, 2012, long track tornadoes, or the Dec 10-11 2021 Quad State Tornadoes, Kentuckians must be weather prepared. Please have a plan of what you would do for your family when warnings are issued, whether you are at home, at a youth sporting event, or the grocery store. Make sure you have multiple ways of receiving life-saving warnings from your local NWS office,” said John Gordon, Meteorologist-in-Charge at the National Weather Service in Louisville, KY.
Basic severe weather preparedness includes:
- Understanding the types of hazardous weather that can affect you and your family. Visit BeReadyLexington.com/hazards
- Staying up to date on the weather forecast regularly at gov or your favorite weather source. Get a NOAA Weather Radio and ensure your cell phone can receive localized alerts from emergency management officials.
- Build an emergency kit and develop a family emergency plan that considers all local hazards and associated risks.
Throughout the week of February 28 – March 6, 2022, the NWS offices that serve Kentucky and Lexington Emergency Management will provide severe weather safety information via social media and the web. Consider including the hashtags #kywx in your severe weather preparedness social media posts.
In conjunction with severe weather awareness week, the National Weather Service invites all to attend one of the virtual SKYWARN spotter training sessions. Contact your local NWS Warning Coordination Meteorologist for information about classes being offered. Training webinars are free and open to anyone wishing to become a spotter or learn more about weather safety. Visit https://www.weather.gov/lmk/ for more information about these weather spotter classes.
Please help the National Weather Service build a Weather-Ready Kentucky by becoming a Weather-Ready Nation Ambassador. This initiative is intended for organizations and is designed to help serve the public by strengthening our national resilience against extreme weather events. For more information and to apply, go to https://www.weather.gov/wrn/amb-tou.
Preparedness information is also available via the Lexington Emergency Management Facebook page: @LexingtonKYEM and the Division of Emergency Management Twitter account: @Lexkyem.