Annual tornado drill gets SD thinking about severe weather

RAPID CITY, S.D. – As part of this week’s Severe Weather Awareness Week, the National Weather service is staging it’s annual tornado drill.

Wednesday morning between 9 and 9:30 a.m., the NWS will be issuing a tornado warning for the area.

They want us all to remember that it’s a drill but to also start thinking about the weeks ahead when we might be in a scenario that’s not a drill.

“It gives people a minute to pause thinking, ‘What would I do right now if this was a real tornado warning’,” said Susan Sanders, Warning Coordination Meteorologist at the NWS Rapid City Office. “They’re not at home generally so they would have to think about where their shelter would be at that particular moment.”

Also, always have a way to get watches and warnings, which can be a challenge in the Black Hills as cell service doesn’t always cut it. If you’re at home, remember the basement or smallest interior room is the safest place to be. And if you’re at work, discuss with your co-workers where your designated tornado shelter is located.

The test warning also allows the NWS to test their systems in preparation for the upcoming season.

“It allows us to test our warning systems also,” said Sanders. “A lot of our partners and especially the schools can practice their procedures so they can practice their drills and some other emergency response organizations do drills too.”

More information about the drill can be found here.

Categories: Local News, South Dakota News