Use stay-at-home time to prepare for severe weather
It’s Severe Weather Awareness Week this week – April 13-17 – which is a great time to check emergency supplies and practice emergency plans.
The statewide tornado drills will take place Thursday, April 16, at 1:45 and 6:45 p.m. Douglas County will sound its outdoor warning sirens at both those designated times.
“Since so many people are staying home this week, it’s the perfect time to eat up the granola bars you put in the kit last year,” says Douglas County Emergency Management Director Julie Anderson. “Check the batteries in your flashlight and make sure you have enough water on hand for three days.”
The Emergency Management page on the Douglas County website, co.douglas.mn.us , has a complete list of items that should be included in emergency supply kits.
If and when the National Weather Service issues an actual tornado warning for Douglas County, officials will sound appropriate outdoor warning sirens and an Emergency Alert System message will air on television, NOAA weather radios and local radio. Most cell phones will also carry the warning.
In addition, Douglas County can provide information through its CodeRED system. CodeRED is a free, opt-in system that will relay information to cell phones, home telephones and email accounts. CodeRED provides local officials the ability to share information before, during and after a severe weather event.
“A tornado warning may be just the first step in the messaging process,” says Anderson. “There may be additional information about avoiding downed power lines or road closures that will be shared through CodeRED.”
Signing up for CodeRED is simple, just click the link on the homepage of the Douglas County website.