Posted on: September 19, 2017

Shelby County’s Tornado Safety PrepareAthon


“Tornadoes occur any time of the year, any time of the day or night. Knowing where to quickly find shelter increases your survival chances,” said Dale Lane, Director Shelby County Office of Preparedness.

“We invite you to join the PrepareAthon for Tornado Safety.” At 12:00 p.m. (noon) September 20 the outdoor warning sirens will be activated for a county-wide tornado drill (weather permitting). “As the sirens blare, we encourage everyone to practice finding their safe place. Can we count you in?”




  • Have 2 ways to receive alerts: Download weather apps to mobile devices and have a NOAA all-hazard radio with battery back-up. Keep cell phones available and charged.
  • Know the difference between a Watch and a Warning: 
    • Tornado Watch: Conditions are favorable for tornadoes to form. Stay alert!
    • Tornado Warning: A tornado was spotted on radar or by a weather spotter. Seek shelter!
  • Tornado Warning Signs: Tornadoes cannot be seen in darkness or rain bands. If it is daytime, look for dark, greenish clouds, a wall cloud (a lowering of the cloud base), a cloud of debris, large hail, or a funnel cloud. Listen for a roaring noise.
  • Tornado Safe Place: The safest place is underground (storm shelter or basement). If not available, seek a sturdy building on the lowest floor, an interior room or hallway.
    • Stay away from corners, windows, doors, and outside walls.
    • Do not open windows.
    • Have disaster supplies available to include: NOAA radio, flashlight and batteries, cellphone and charger, helmet, sturdy shoes, blankets, and pillows.
  • Vehicles, trailers or mobile homes are not safe shelters. If a sturdy building is not available, lie flat in a ditch or other low-lying area.
  • Do not go under an overpass or bridge.


The Shelby County Office of Preparedness invites you to take a photo of you in your safe place and post to social media with #StaySafeShelby or #SafetySelfie. Send the total number of drill participants to shelby.logan@shelbycountytn.gov.

American’s PrepareAthon is a grassroots campaign for action to increase individual and community readiness and resilience. Communities like Shelby County will take this day to practice safety maneuvers for a relevant, local hazard. Visit https://community.fema.gov for more information.

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