CHADRON – Nebraska’s annual Severe Weather Awareness Week came and went in late March with little notice, overshadowed by the early days of the coronavirus pandemic response in the state.
Chadron/Dawes County 911 Supervisor Gale Kittel says a key part of the week is a statewide tornado drill, giving state and local agencies the chance to make sure equipment, personnel, and plans are operational, but one wasn’t held this year.
Kittel says Dawes County Emergency Dispatch at the Chadron police station is making up for that with a tornado drill this morning. It begins with a mock Tornado Watch at 9:00 and moves to a mock Tornado Warning at 9:30.
The Chadron 911 Center will activate the warning sirens in Chadron, Crawford, and Harrison at that time using the 3-minute steady tone used only for tornadoes. A Code Red test warning will also be sent at that time to local telephones. There is no need to call 911 to ask why the sirens are sounding.
Kittel says business and residents in Dawes and Sioux Counties are encouraged to take part in the drill. Businesses should mark an interior room or basement as a designated tornado shelter with clearly visible signs for customers.
People at home can go to their predetermined shelter area and reviewing their individual or family plan for what today in case of a tornado, fire, or other emergency.