What Kansans should expect for Tuesday's tornado drill, severe weather season
WICHITA, Kan. (KAKE) - Believe it or not, severe weather season is just around the corner. But before it gets here, the state wants to take advantage of the calm weather for its annual Severe Weather Awareness Week.
So Tuesday, don't be surprised if you hear a tornado warning… it's just a test.
"Bipolar. Yeah. The crazy ex that won't leave you alone that shows up at your house unexpectedly," said Dylan Bourn and Alexis Siniaho.
Bourn and Siniaho aren't talking about people. As lifelong Wichitans, they're describing the weather.
"Last time we had a tornado we were, we didn't really prep for that. We were just kind of like parked at a park and just ready to like, you know, say yeehaw," said Bourn.
That's why it's so important to be prepared before it's too late.
"Every year, Kansas has a statewide Severe Weather Awareness Week, and a tornado drill is an annual part of that," said KAKE Meteorologist Jay Prater.
Tuesday at 10 am, there will be a mass tornado drill across the whole state. For it to work, Prater says it's important to know what to, and what not to expect.
"At 10 o'clock, tornado sirens will be sounded across the state. And depending on the age of your weather radio, they'll send a test. Modern weather radios won't make a sound for the test, it'll just scroll on the screen. But older weather radios will sound their alarm at 10 o'clock," said Prater. "If you have the KAKE First Alert app, we will be sending a push alert at 10 o'clock. Keep in mind, since this is a test, it won't be the same process as if a real tornado warning was issued. Also, if you count on your wireless emergency alerts on your cell phone, those will not go off during the test."
So, if you hear the sirens, don't panic. And if you don't hear anything, that's ok too – the whole point is to troubleshoot now before it's potentially life or death.
"I guess just stay stocked on the things you might need. Keep stuff in your car in case of emergency," said Siniaho. "Like me, you might get stuck in the snow and have to call somebody to come and help you."
For more information on the NOAA weather radios, click here. To download the KAKE First Alert Weather app, click here.