Sirens sounding today for awareness week
Published 9:54 am Thursday, April 14, 2016
Freeborn County will conduct county-wide tornado siren tests today in association with Severe Weather Awareness Week.
The sirens will go off at 1:45 p.m. and 6:55 p.m. as part of a statewide event.
Freeborn County Emergency Management Director Rich Hall said this week provides a good chance for local officials to emphasize the importance of staying aware during severe weather season.
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He said he hopes Freeborn County will have an integrated public alert warning system in place by the end of May that will alert anyone with a cellphone within range of severe weather in the county, noting the program is different than others because it automatically sends alerts to your phone, without having to sign up for the service.
He said anyone not interested in receiving the alerts will be able to opt out.
Hall noted the system will give travelers and residents in Freeborn County an additional resource to protect themselves in the event of severe weather, noting Martin County utilized the system during a winter storm last month.
He hopes the plan will save lives.
He said severe weather season is just starting. June is the most active month for severe weather.
He advised residents to regularly check local news and weather sites to stay safe.
Freeborn County has been declared a major disaster area in three of the last six years due to severe weather events.
Hall cited a National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration website that gave several tips to remain safe in severe weather:
Tune into a radio or television weather information source for severe weather watch and warning information.
If severe weather threatens, check on people who are elderly, young or physically or mentally disabled.
Have a safe room in your home or small business that can help provide near-absolute protection from injury or death caused by extreme winds.