Tornado sirens throughout the county will now be tested on the last Friday of every month beginning this week.
According to Fayette County Emergency Management Agency (EMA) Director Melissa Havens, prior to this year, the sirens were only tested from March to October when the weather was more likely to produce a tornado.
There are two reasons for testing year-round, according to Havens:
-The weather patterns are changing, and tornadoes are now possible during the months of November to February. Ensuring the sirens are operable during these months is now necessary.
-The jurisdictions of Fayette County have been working hard to ensure the sirens are working properly. Testing them regularly will keep them in good working order.
“As with anything, going five months without setting them off is not good for their respective working parts. The tests will keep them functioning properly,” explained Havens via email.
Tornado sirens in the Jeffersonville area will be tested at 9 a.m., and the remainder of the county sirens will be tested at noon on the last Friday of every month.
As previously reported, tornado sirens are meant to be a warning for people who are outside to take shelter. The sirens are not meant to be heard by people who are indoors.
To help protect and warn individuals who are indoors, the following can be done: staying up-to-date with local news stations and weather patterns, having emergency supplies easily-accessible, having an emergency response plan, and having the Nixle alert system.
Nixle is a method of communication where individuals can receive notifications from the Fayette County Sheriff’s Office pertaining to emergency-related information in Fayette County. This includes road closures, unexpected school closings and delays, severe weather notifications, evacuation orders, etc. To sign up, go to www.local.nixle.com/register/ or text the appropriate zip-code to 888777 for mobile alerts.
Reach journalist Jennifer Woods at 740-313-0355.