Drew County will begin testing its new tornado siren system the week of April 27 and continue through May 4. Testing will occur at various locations throughout the county until all sirens have been confirmed to be online and ready for use, according to Drew County Office of Emergency Coordinator Michael Frisby.
Drew County residents can receive Drew County citizens can receive text or telephone alerts in the case of severe weather by signing up for the Code Red Service. The service is available to anyone who lives or works in Drew County or attends school at the University of Arkansas at Monticello, Frisby said.
Code Red weather warnings are sent when the National Weather Service issues a severe thunderstorm, tornado or flash flood warning. The geographically-based Code Red system determines if your address is in the path of the storm and immediately calls with the weather information. Participants will not receive calls outside the path of their address.
During the online application process residents will be asked to type in needed information, including the phone number, that will receive the weather warnings.
The simplest, most effective, and least expensive (many models cost less than $25) remedy to lower the fatality rate of tornadoes is for every home to have at least one NOAA Weather Radio Receiver. The radio receiver turns itself on and sounds a loud alarm when a watch or warning is issued to the listener’s area. Even if a person is asleep or otherwise occupied, they will be alerted immediately to weather danger as the NWS operates twenty-five transmitters in Arkansas. Additional information on NOAA Weather Radio
Severe Weather Safety Tips from the National Weather Service
Take cover in a sturdy building
The best place in a house/building is on the lowest floor and in an interior room. Basements, storm shelters, hallways, closets and bathrooms are great locations to go! Any room that is AWAY from windows!
Protect your head from flying debris. Blankets, pillows, sports/bike helmets, mattresses, cooking pots are all good things to use to protect your head, other than your hands.
Mobile homes are not safe shelters. Find a neighbor or friend to stay with in a sturdier structure. For a last resort, take shelter in a ditch.
Never outrun a tornado in a vehicle. Get out of the car and into a sturdy building. If none is around, lay flat in a ditch.
Highway overpasses are not safe shelters. Winds speed up as they funnel underneath the overpass creating a danger to those underneath, as well as debris flying around.
Make sure to have a NOAA Weather Radio with fresh batteries handy. Many times, severe weather can come through during the night or times when we least expect it. NOAA Weather Radio will alert you when a warning has been issued for your county.