Severe Weather Awareness Week

From Denver Office of Emergency Management and Homeland Security– Mother Nature sent out its own reminder yesterday that we are approaching severe weather season in Colorado, with a tornado warning for eastern Denver that prompted emergency sirens to be activated.

Next week is officially “Severe Weather Awareness Week,” a time to review safety precautions in event of a severe weather event, including what to do if you hear emergency sirens.

The City and County of Denver has an outdoor warning siren system that is activated when a tornado has been spotted by trained observers, or when the National Weather Service has issued a Tornado Warning for Denver County. (A Tornado Warning means that a tornado has been sighted, or that a developing tornado is reported by trained spotters or indicated on Doppler radar).

If you hear emergency sirens, seek shelter immediately, then tune to local media for further warnings or instructions.  (Denver’s sirens do not sound an “All Clear” tone, so tune to local media to learn when the danger has lifted).

Shelter means a designated shelter, basement, storm cellar or interior room away from windows. If you are in a vehicle or mobile home, get out immediately and go to the lowest floor of a sturdy, nearby building or a storm shelter.

As part of Severe Weather Awareness Week, the National Weather Service will conduct a statewide test of the tornado warning system the morning of April 17, 2012. This test is a cooperative effort of NOAA’s National Weather Service, Colorado’s Office of Preparedness and local emergency management officials. The warnings will be broadcast on NOAA Weather Radio All Hazards and may be heard on local television and radio stations. The test may be canceled if extreme weather activity occurs during the test day.

Note that Denver will not be sounding our outdoor warning sirens on April 17th test, to avoid confusion.

To learn more about severe weather precautions and how you can be prepared, visit Denver’s Office of Emergency Management web pages at: http://www.denvergov.org/oem, or on the National Weather Service’s website at http://www.crh.noaa.gov/bou/.

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