Posted at 1:46 PM on April 24, 2008
by Craig Edwards
Tests are administered to check on comprehension and ability to learn.
Today, the warning communication system of the National Weather Service, in partnership with the broadcast media and emergency management was tested. Check off that box as a completion of the test.
More importantly, were you paying attention? Did you know that the tornado warning alert system, encompassing the outdoor warning sirens, broadcast networks, and NOAA Weather Radio was activated at 1:45PM?
As part of the pass/final assessment; did you consider/ponder your reaction if this was a real tornado emergency?
Under a controlled strategy, this was a very forgiving drill. There are two purposes to test the communication system for tornado warnings. First, do you have a means to receive a warning? Not just at 1:45PM, but twenty-four hours a day. Second, are you prepared to move to safety and possibly assist in moving others to a relatively safe location?
Tornado fatalities are being reduced nationwide due to the skill of meteorologists to identify tornado producing storms on Doppler and issue warnings, as well as the attentiveness by the public to respond appropriately to warnings.
Know your source for weather information. Be prepared to execute a safety plan if you are caught in the path of dangerous weather.
Another test will be conducted in many regions at 6:55PM.
And, rarely is the question asked: "Does my child's school have a weather radio?" and "Does this daycare center have a weather radio?"
If the answer is no, get on their case! All schools can get radios for free through a Department of Homeland Security program. Local TV stations here in the Cities have run promotions in the past where you can get a SAME weather radio for about $30 instead of the usual $60 to $70.
And, one last question: You've got many smoke detectors in your house, right? How many house fires have you had lately? Now, how many strong or severe thunderstorms have gone through your city? Is it worth $30 to be alerted for them?
(I'm not directing this at you, Craig; I know you're down wid this.)
Actually I was in the Roseau area this evening and I did not hear the warning.