Statewide tornado drill takes place in Florida. Here’s what it’s all about

Test part of Florida’s Severe Weather Awareness Week

ORLANDO, Fla. – Florida conducted a tornado drill Wednesday to help prepare residents for the chance of severe weather events.

The drill comes as Gov. Ron DeSantis recognizes Feb. 7-11 as Severe Weather Awareness Week.

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According to a news release from Florida Disaster, voluntary participants should consider themselves under a tornado watch. This means you should monitor the weather and be prepared to move to a safe location if there is a warning.

The National Weather Service sent out a practice tornado warning broadcast at 10 a.m. EST through NOAA weather radio. The message was shown as a “routine weekly test.”

Drill messages began at 9 a.m. CST for counties in the Florida Panhandle.

The drill ended at 10:30 a.m. EST.

During this week, it’s a good time to consider how you can prepare for any severe weather that comes your way.

Tips for an at-home severe weather plan:

  • Cover your head with a bike helmet, blanket or mattress.
  • Go to the lowest level interior room, such as a bathroom or closet.
  • If you live in a mobile home, find a safe place to evacuate to.
  • Make a severe weather kit that includes batteries and a flashlight.

Knowing the difference between a tornado watch and a tornado warning is also crucial. When a watch is in effect, you should know where your pets are, get things to cover your head with, have your shoes ready and be aware of the weather.

If a warning is issued, it’s time to put your severe weather plan into action and get to safety. Tornado watches aren’t always in effect before warnings are issued, so it’s best to be prepared.

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Brittany joined in January 2022.