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 22, 2023, 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 22nd 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.
“Tornadoes and severe weather can occur at any time of the year. Just a few weeks ago, Franklin County was under a Tornado Warning in February. Having a plan and knowing what to do before these unexpected storms occur is imperative," 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 tornado drill is part of Severe Weather Awareness Week, March 19th-25th, 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) 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. The sirens will sound for three minutes, followed by a seven-minute rest period. This cycle will repeat 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.