Local News

TEMA plans statewide tornado drill for Friday

According to the National Weather Service 12 different tornados have hit Moore County since 1950. (Image Provided)

STATE NEWS | The Tennessee Emergency Management Agency (TEMA) plans a statewide tornado drill on Friday at 9:30 a.m. Lynchburg time. During that time, locals are encouraged to participate in the drill by practicing seeking secure, safe shelter from a tornado. This test will be broadcast over NOAA All Hazards Weather Radio and many local television and radio stations. The drill is part of Severe Weather Awareness Week that began last week.

According to Metro Emergency Management Agency Director Jason Deal, many first responders will be “boots on the ground” assisting the Metro Health Department with vaccinations on Friday and they don’t plan any organized participation.

The 2020 tornados were deadly and expensive

It’s an apropos time to focus on severe weather. Just one year ago, a deadly tornado outbreak ripped through West and Middle Tennessee the night of March 2 and into the wee hours of March 3. Multiple tornados hit Nashville, Mount Juliet, and as west as Cookeville. A total of 25 people were killed by the tornados, with an additional 309 being injured, and more than 70,000 losing power.

The storms extended into Alabama, southeastern Missouri, and western Kentucky. Total damage from the event reached $1.606 billion according to the National Centers for Environmental and it ranks as the sixth costliest tornado outbreak in U.S. history.

Severe Weather Awareness Week urges Tennesseans to prepare before tornado season arrives in Middle Tennessee. Here are five things you can do now:

1 | Know the difference between a watch and a warning. A Tornado Watch means conditions are right for a tornado. A Tornado Warning means an actual tornado has been spotted or is radar-indicated.

2 | Have flashlights and battery operated radios ready. Middle Tennessee often experiences night time tornados.

3 | Know your safe spots ahead of time. The safest places inside your home is a basement, or small, interior room without windows. Always stay on the lowest level of your home. During an actual tornado, cover yourself with blankets, pillows, mattress or heavy furniture.

4 | Never try to outrun a tornado. If you  are in a car or outdoors and cannot get to a building, cover your head and neck with your arms and cover your body with a coat or blanket if possible.

5 | After a tornado, text friend and family to check on them. This leaves phone lines open for emergency communications. Stay well clear of downed power lines and do not enter damaged building until they are deemed safe.

Additionally, TEMA has a mobile application that provides emergency preparedness, response and recovery information. For more information, visit https://www.tn.gov/tema/ready-tn.html. •

{The Lynchburg Times is an independently owned and operated newspaper in Lynchburg, Tennessee. We cover Metro Moore County government, Jack Daniel’s Distillery, Nearest Green Distillery, Tims Ford State Park, Motlow State Community College, Moore County High School, Moore County Middle School, Lynchburg Elementary, Raider Sports, plus regional and state news.}

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