LINCOLN–(KFOR Mar. 29)–Sirens blared, Emergency Alert System tones were activated, text alerts from KFOR were also sent out as part of Wednesday morning’s statewide tornado drill, coinciding with severe weather awareness week in Nebraska.

The drill took place during the 10am hour with an activation of the alert from the National Weather Service office in Valley.  It should serve as a reminder for what you and your family need to do at home, or with your colleagues at work if severe weather should strike the Lincoln area.

A TORNADO WATCH means conditions are favorable for the development of tornadoes and severe thunderstorms with large hail and damaging winds in an close to the watch area.  A TORNADO WARNING means that a tornado is eminent, it’s developing or has been sighted on the ground.

Brian Smith, who is the warning coordination meteorologist at the National Weather Service in Valley, says you should have a plan in place at home and work if a tornado warning were to be issued.

“If you don’t have a plan, it’s a great time to try to develop one and share it with others,” Smith said.

One of the places you can take cover while you’re at home is the basement, in a place away from windows and glass doors.  If you don’t have a basement in your home, go to an interior room or hallway.  If you have a restroom that doesn’t have a window, that would be considered as another option.  The same can be applied to school buildings and the work place, but if you work in a multi-level building, the lowest floor possible away from windows is the better option.  Do not go to large open rooms such as cafeterias, gymnasiums, or auditoriums.


If you are caught outside, find a sturdy building.  Mobile homes, sheds and storage facilities are not safe, according to the weather service.  Being in your vehicle isn’t a safe option, if a tornado is heading toward you.  Drive to the closest shelter, if you can. If you are unable to make it to a safe shelter, either get down in your car and cover your head, or abandon your car and seek shelter in a low lying area such as a ditch or ravine.

Smith suggests have a plan afterward, including a meeting place to account for family members/co-workers.  Also, have a battery-powered radio tuned to KFOR and our AlphaMedia Lincoln stations for the latest weather information.  Weather radios are also another option.  Lancaster County Emergency Management director Jim Davidsaver says have an emergency kit handy that contains water, non-perishable foods to survive on for up to 72 hours.

Courtesy of Jeff Motz/KFOR News.

KFOR and our social media channels will provide timely information in the event that any part of Lincoln and Lancaster County were to be included in a tornado warning.  Plus, KFOR will send out text alerts to your phone on watches and warnings of any kind during the spring and summer months.