Just two weeks ago, the Vandalia area was reminded of tornado season after watching coverage of devastating storms that rocked Branson, Mo. among several other midwest towns.
Vandalia Police Chief Tony Laird said its important for Vandalia residents to learn the Outdoor Emergency Warning Siren Procedure so they know how to respond when a possible tornado is on a path towards Vandalia.
The definition of a tornado warning notes that a weather event has formed and is threatening an area under the warning as a tornado is actually present and moving in the warned area. When the even toned siren goes off, residents are to take immediate shelter.
• If the National Weather Service issues a tornado warning for Audrain County, the warning sirens will be sounded with an even tone for approximately two minutes
• Weather spotters will go to pre-designated locations to watch for funnel clouds. Personnel in the dispatch center will monitor the MULES computer system for weather condition updates as well as monitor local weather updates on television and radio until the warning is canceled by the NWS.
• If a funnel cloud is spotted by a spotter or if the weather service advises a funnel cloud is in the immediate area of Vandalia, the sirens will be sounded with a wailing tone for approximately 10 minutes. There will be no voice message.
When the area is under a tornado watch, no sirens are sounded. A tornado watch is issued when weather conditions are favorable for producing a weather event but nothing has yet formed. Watches alert the public to pay attention just to be safe.
Copies of the procedure can be picked up at The Vandalia Leader’s office or inside Vandalia’s City Hall. Another tool expected to be available to soon to Vandalia area residents is the Everbridge notification system. The system will allow residents to register on a website to receive emergency notification on a land line, by email, and/or through a text message. Residents will be able to sign up for all three services at no cost.