Annual Statewide Tornado Drill-Wednesday, March 20, 2024 at 9:50 A.M.

    Posted: 3/18/2024

    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, 2024, 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. 

    "With tornadoes and severe weather capable of striking at any moment, readiness becomes our safeguard against the storm," said Jeffrey J. Young, Director, Franklin County Emergency Management and Homeland Security.  "The annual Statewide Tornado Drill is our chance to rehearse and refine our emergency plans and be ready to unite in safeguarding our community."

    The tornado drill is part of Severe Weather and Flood Safety Awareness Week, March 17th-23rd, held annually to remind the public that with spring comes the possibility of tornadoes, thunderstorms, floods, hail, lighting strikes, and power outages.

    Reminder - The Franklin County Outdoor Warning Siren System is activated by zones when a Tornado Warning is issued by the National Weather Service (NWS). The four warning zones (NW, NE, SW, and SE) were implemented to closely align with warning polygons issued by NWS or the actual location of tornadic activity in Franklin County. The sirens will be activated if the county zone is within the NWS issued polygon. The sirens will remain activated for as long as the warning is in effect but will not sound continuously.  The sirens will sound for three minutes, followed by a seven-minute rest period. This cycle will repeat until the warning is cancelled.