EMA director talks importance of statewide tornado drill

Students at Klondike Elementary School took part in the statewide tornado drill on Tuesday, March 21, 2017. (WLFI Photo)

TIPPECANOE COUNTY, Ind. (WLFI) — Hoosiers across all 92 counties will hear tornado sirens going off Tuesday, and it’s all in an effort for the statewide tornado drill.

Students all around Tippecanoe County took part in the first of two drills Tuesday, which was held at 10:15 a.m.

News 18 spoke with Tippecanoe County EMA Director Smokey Anderson live on News 18 at Noon to discuss the importance of the tornado drill.

“It’s a statewide drill to basically test the preparedness in the plans for schools, and businesses and homeowners in the event of a tornado warning,” Anderson said.

He said besides the morning test, there will be a second test around 7:30 p.m.

Even though testing prepares the community for possible severe weather events, Anderson said it also prepares emergency management agencies in ensuring their equipment is working properly. He said Tippecanoe County usually has 72 sirens.

“We are testing 71 sirens,” he said. “We have one that’s out on top of the old West Lafayette City Hall. That’s in the process of being repaired or replaced, actually.”

Anderson said they only had one report of a siren failure. The emergency siren located at Wabash National didn’t activate, and they will be investigating that further Tuesday.

“Typically, it’s a power issue,” said Anderson. “We’ll check and make sure that it is powered and if not, we will have a repair service that will repair those.”

Anderson hopes after the siren on Main Street is checked out, it will activate on Tuesday night’s test.

Coming up on News 18 at Five and Six, we will have more on the statewide tornado drill including hearing from a Klondike Elementary first-grade teacher on the importance the drill holds for students.