Families, schools and businesses should participate in tornado drills April 18
Severe Weather Awareness Week takes place April 15th – 19th this year, with statewide tornado drills on Thursday, April 18th.
At 1:45 p.m. on Thursday April 18th, the La Crosse WI National Weather Service will issue a simulated tornado warning and outdoor warning sirens will be activated throughout Winona/Winona County:
At 6:55 p.m. a second drill will take place in Winona/Winona County for families and second – shift workers.
This year Winona County will be testing the TORNADO siren as well as the FLASH FLOOD siren.
The Tornado siren is a steady wail; the Flash Flood siren is a fast wail.
Some sirens are equipped with “green technology”, using solar power with a battery back-up system. All the sirens are radio controlled and can be activated by the Law Enforcement Dispatch Center or Emergency Management Personnel. The sirens have three different tones: a long steady wail for a tornado warning; a fast high/low wail for flash flood warning and a slow high/low wail for hazardous materials incidents. Sirens are designed to be heard outdoors and have a range of approximately one mile. Sirens are tested the first Wednesday of every month at approximately 1:00 p.m. SIRENS ARE NEVER SOUNDED TO ISSUE AN ALL CLEAR.
As always, when you hear a warning siren, citizens should tune to their local radio or television stations for additional updates. Do NOT call 9-1-1 or the local police or sheriff for information regarding the warning. Phone emergency numbers only if you have an actual emergency.
To listen to the three outdoor warning sirens visit the Winona County Website at www.co.winona.mn.us. Under Departments select Emergency Management. The Outdoor Warning Sirens options are listed on the left side of the screen. Click the link under each siren to hear its sound.
If you are interested in developing a plan for your family or business, review the Disasters Preparedness Plan on the Emergency Management tab for ideas to cover in your plan.
According to National Weather Service data, tornadoes have occurred in every Minnesota county at some time during the past 60 years. Winona County has experienced 14 tornadoes since 1950.