Annual tornado drill may be postponed due to severe weather

October 13, 2009 10:06:00 AM

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Starkville and Oktibbeha County are slated to participate in an annual statewide tornado drill, Wednesday. 

 


But, with inclement weather potentially on the horizon, Jim Britt, director of Oktibbeha County Emergency Management, isn''t confident the drill will go on. 

 


"We''re scheduled to do it, but right now the weather is (bad)," Britt said, Monday afternoon. 

 


Should local Emergency Management participate in the drill, the agency will activate all three types of its alert receivers and send out mass text messages, through the Alert FM system.  

 


Additionally, receivers in the form of wall mounts, USB drive receivers for computers and small pagers will be activated. 

 


"It activates an alert noise, and on the wall mounts it actually activates a strobe light, so it really gets their attention," said Britt, who noted 600 alert systems are located in the county, mainly in schools, government offices and with emergency responders around the county. 

 


The general public can visit www.alertfm.org/ms/oktibbeha to receive emergency alerts via e-mail or text message. 

 


"We participated in the original test of this system about four years ago, and we''ve been in the system about three years," said Britt, noting the system has been successful in helping Emergency Management keep the community informed of emergency events and severe weather. 

 


Emergency Management does not plan to activate the county''s outdoor sirens during Wednesday''s drill. 

 


"That way we can put out a text to let people know there is not severe weather and that it''s just a drill," Britt said. 

 


Anticipating severe weather Wednesday, Britt expects the statewide drill to be postponed to a later date.