Annual Statewide Tornado Drill Wednesday, March 20, 2019 at 9:50 A.M.

    Posted: 3/13/2019

    COLUMBUS – Franklin County Emergency Management and Homeland Security (FCEM&HS) is urging the community to participate in the annual Statewide Tornado Drill at 9:50 a.m. on Wednesday, March 20, 2019 when the Franklin County Outdoor Warning Siren System will be activated. The sirens will be activated one time for three minutes – a longer tone than used in the regular Wednesday noon test. The test tone will be the same “tornado warning” tone which would be used in an actual tornado warning. 

    The 9:50 a.m. March 20th siren activation will be in place of the regular weekly Wednesday noon test of the Franklin County Outdoor Warning Siren System. Area schools, businesses and residents are urged to participate and complete an online survey about their participation. 

    “Tornadoes can develop quickly, with little or no warning so its important to know what to do and where to go before severe weather strikes," said Jeffrey J. Young, Director, Franklin County Emergency Management & Homeland Security.  “The annual Statewide Tornado Drill is the perfect opportunity for everyone to plan ahead and practice their emergency plan.”

    The drill is part of Ohio’s Spring Severe Weather Awareness Week, March 17th-23rd, to remind the public that with spring comes the possibility of tornadoes, thunderstorms, floods, hail, lighting strikes, and power outages.

    NOTE: In an actual tornado warning: FCEM&HS activates the Outdoor Warning Siren System by geographical zones.  The four warning zones are based upon the countywide street grid (Broad/High) and closely align with warning polygons issued by NWS or the actual location of tornadic activity in Franklin County. The sirens will remain activated for as long as the warning is in effect but will not sound continuously – they will sound for three minutes at a time, then be silent for a seven-minute rest period, then repeat this cycle until the warning is cancelled. NWS will issue a tornado warning for an area when a tornado is spotted or radar indicates a tornado is imminent.