ZCZC LITWRKPNS
TTAA00 KLIT 151058
ARZ003>007-012>016-021>025-030>034-037>047-052>057-062>069-052000-

PUBLIC INFORMATION STATEMENT
NATIONAL WEATHER SERVICE LITTLE ROCK AR
600 AM CST WED MAR 5 2014

...TODAYS TOPIC FOR SEVERE WEATHER AWARENESS WEEK IS 
TORNADOES...

ARKANSAS GOVERNOR MIKE BEEBE HAS PROCLAIMED THE WEEK OF
MARCH 2ND THROUGH 8TH AS SEVERE WEATHER AWARENESS WEEK
IN ARKANSAS.

A DIFFERENT TOPIC WILL BE DISCUSSED EACH DAY...AND TODAYS TOPIC
IS TORNADOES. 

IN 2013...ARKANSAS RECORDED 34 TORNADOES. IN AN AVERAGE 
YEAR...33 TORNADOES WOULD BE EXPECTED IN THE STATE.

TWO LIVES WERE LOST TO THE TORNADOES IN 2013...ONE IN GRANT 
COUNTY AND ONE IN ST. FRANCIS COUNTY. THE FATALITY IN GRANT 
COUNTY WAS THE FIRST TORNADO FATALITY IN THAT COUNTY SINCE 
1949. THE MOST ACTIVE DAY FOR TORNADOES IN 2013 WAS MAY 30TH...
WHEN 12 TORNADOES OCCURRED IN THE STATE.

THE CURRENT WEATHER PATTERN CALLED ENSO NEUTRAL...WHICH MEANS 
THAT NEITHER EL NINO NOR LA NINA IS OCCURRING...IS FAVORABLE FOR 
STRONG TORNADOES /INTENSITIES OF EF2 OR GREATER/. THE ENSO
NEUTRAL PATTERN IS EXPECTED TO CONTINUE THROUGH SPRING.  

SINCE MUCH OF THE WINTER FEATURED STRONG COLD FRONTS MOVING WELL
OUT INTO THE GULF OF MEXICO...THE NEAR SHORE WATERS OF THE GULF 
HAVE COOLED MORE THAN USUAL. IT WILL PROBABLY TAKE AWHILE FOR
THE GULF TO WARM UP...AND TO PUSH THE WARM MOIST AIR NORTHWARD
TO ARKANSAS. THUS...THE MAIN PART OF THE SPRING SEVERE WEATHER 
SEASON IN ARKANSAS MAY BE DELAYED SOMEWHAT.

MARCH...APRIL...AND MAY ARE THE PEAK MONTHS FOR TORNADOES IN
ARKANSAS...BUT A SECONDARY SEVERE WEATHER SEASON OFTEN OCCURS
IN THE FALL. IN 2001...2002...2004 AND 2005...THE BIGGEST TORNADO 
OUTBREAKS OF THE YEAR OCCURRED DURING THE FALL.

TORNADOES CLEARLY HAVE THE POTENTIAL TO TAKE LIVES AND CAUSE
MASSIVE AMOUNTS OF DAMAGE...BUT PRECAUTIONS CAN BE TAKEN TO 
LESSEN THE NUMBER OF DEATHS AND INJURIES.

...OUTDOOR TORNADO SIRENS...

MANY TOWNS AND COUNTIES IN ARKANSAS HAVE ACQUIRED OUTDOOR WARNING
SIRENS TO ALERT THE PUBLIC WHEN TORNADOES THREATEN. WHEN THESE
SIRENS ARE KEPT IN PROPER WORKING ORDER...THEY DO THEIR JOB AS
EXPECTED AND HELP WARN THE PUBLIC.

BUT...MANY PEOPLE DO NOT UNDERSTAND THE PURPOSE OF THESE SIRENS
AND HAVE FALSE EXPECTATIONS OF THEM.

THE COMPANIES THAT MANUFACTURE THE SIRENS CLEARLY STATE IN THEIR
SALES BROCHURES THAT THE SIRENS ARE INTENDED FOR OUTDOOR WARNING
PURPOSES. NOTE ESPECIALLY THE WORD -OUTDOOR-.

THE SIRENS ARE THUS INTENDED TO ALERT PEOPLE INVOLVED IN OUTDOOR
SPORTS...YARDWORK...RECREATIONAL ACTIVITIES...AND SO FORTH.

THE SIRENS ARE NOT DESIGNED TO...
  WAKE UP PEOPLE WHILE THEY ARE SLEEPING
  ALERT MOTORISTS WHO HAVE THEIR WINDOWS ROLLED UP AND THE RADIO
   PLAYING
  ALERT PEOPLE WHO ARE IN THEIR HOUSES WITH APPLIANCES ON OR
   RADIOS OR TELEVISIONS PLAYING
  ALERT PEOPLE INDOORS IN SIMILAR SITUATIONS

EACH SIREN HAS A DESIGNATED RANGE OVER WHICH IT CAN BE HEARD...
AND THIS RANGE DIFFERS FROM ONE TYPE OF SIREN TO ANOTHER.

IN LITTLE ROCK...NORTH LITTLE ROCK...AND PULASKI COUNTY...THE
NATIONAL WEATHER SERVICE HAS AN ADVISORY ROLE AS TO WHEN THE
SIRENS SHOULD BE SOUNDED...BUT THIS DOES NOT PREVENT THESE
JURISDICTIONS FROM BLOWING THEIR SIRENS IF THEY DEEM IT
NECESSARY. ELSEWHERE IN ARKANSAS...THE DECISIONS TO BLOW THE 
SIRENS ARE MADE BY DESIGNATED CITY OR COUNTY OFFICIALS.

SIREN MANUFACTURERS ALSO MAKE SIRENS DESIGNED FOR INDOOR
COMMERICAL USES. FOR EXAMPLE...A LARGE NOISY FACTORY MIGHT NEED
BOTH AUDIBLE AND VISUAL ALERTS.

...WHAT YOU CAN DO TO PROTECT YOURSELF - TORNADO SAFETY RULES...

ONE OF THE NEWER SAFETY RULES IS THAT IT IS NOT SAFE TO TAKE
SHELTER UNDER A HIGHWAY OVERPASS. A WIND TUNNEL EFFECT...CAUSED
BY WIND BEING CHANNELED UNDER THE OVERPASS...CAN EASILY CAUSE A
PERSON TO BE BLOWN OUT FROM BENEATH THE OVERPASS. IN ADDITION...
THE CHANNELING EFFECT CAUSES WINDS TO BE STRONGER UNDER THE
OVERPASS. FLYING DEBRIS CAN ALSO BE A SEVERE HAZARD. 

BE SURE YOU KNOW THE DIFFERENCE BETWEEN A WATCH AND A WARNING.
THE NATIONAL WEATHER SERVICE ISSUES A TORNADO WATCH WHEN 
TORNADOES ARE POSSIBLE. A TORNADO WARNING IS ISSUED WHEN A 
TORNADO HAS BEEN INDICATED ON DOPPLER WEATHER RADAR OR HAS 
BEEN SIGHTED.

COUNTIES AND CITIES ARE MENTIONED IN TORNADO WARNINGS...SO KNOW 
THE COUNTIES AND CITIES NEAR WHERE YOU ARE. IF YOU ARE NEW TO 
THE AREA...KEEP A MAP HANDY FOR REFERENCE.

MAKE SURE THAT YOU HAVE A RELIABLE WAY TO RECEIVE WEATHER
INFORMATION. BATTERY-POWERED NOAA WEATHER RADIOS ARE AN 
EXCELLENT WAY TO KEEP UP WITH THE WEATHER...EVEN IF YOUR POWER 
HAS GONE OUT. A BATTERY-POWERED RADIO IS ALSO A NECESSITY IF YOU 
ARE PLANNING TO BE OUTDOORS.

IF YOU ARE GOING TO BE AT A LARGE GATHERING...SUCH AS AT A 
SCHOOL...STADIUM OR PLACE OF WORSHIP...MAKE SURE THAT SOMEONE HAS 
BEEN DESIGNATED TO KEEP AN EYE ON THE WEATHER AND TO LISTEN FOR 
THE LATEST WATCHES AND WARNINGS.

A TORNADO SHELTER...TORNADO CELLAR...OR A SAFE ROOM IS THE SAFEST
PLACE TO BE...BUT MOST HOMES DO NOT HAVE THESE. THE NEXT SAFEST 
PLACE IS USUALLY A BASEMENT...BUT THESE ARE NOT COMMON IN 
ARKANSAS. IF YOU DO NOT HAVE ANY OF THESE...GO TO AN INTERIOR 
ROOM OR HALLWAY ON THE LOWEST FLOOR OF A HOUSE OR BUILDING. YOU 
CAN PROTECT YOURSELF FURTHER BY GETTING UNDER A MATTRESS OR A 
HEAVY PIECE OF FURNITURE.

MANY BUSINESSES...SUCH AS LARGE STORES...SHOPPING MALLS...
HOSPITALS...NURSING HOMES...AND SCHOOLS HAVE PRE-ARRANGED SAFETY
PLANS AND DESIGNATED SAFE AREAS. IF YOU ARE IN ONE OF THESE
PLACES...FOLLOW THE INSTRUCTIONS GIVEN INSIDE THESE BUILDINGS.

STAY AWAY FROM WINDOWS.

IF YOU ARE IN A VEHICLE...YOUR BEST OPTION IS TO MOVE TO A STURDY
BUILDING. 

MOBILE HOMES...EVEN IF TIED DOWN...OFFER LITTLE PROTECTION DURING 
A TORNADO...AND SHOULD BE ABANDONED.

REMEMBER THAT FLYING DEBRIS CAUSES THE MOST CASUALTIES IN A 
TORNADO.

KEEP IN MIND THAT THE ELDERLY...THE VERY YOUNG...AND PEOPLE WITH
PHYSICAL OR MENTAL CHALLENGES WILL OFTEN NEED MORE TIME TO GET TO
SAFETY. MAKE SPECIAL PROVISIONS IF YOU ARE A CARE-GIVER FOR THESE
PEOPLE.

...SOME THOUGHTS FOR SCHOOLS...

IF YOU USE THE SCHOOL BELL/BUZZER/PUBLIC ADDRESS SYSTEM TO NOTIFY
TEACHERS AND STUDENTS TO TAKE THEIR TORNADO PRECAUTIONS...DO YOU
HAVE AN ALTERNATE METHOD IN CASE THE POWER HAS GONE OUT? A TORNADO
CAN KNOCK DOWN POWER LINES OR DAMAGE AN ELECTRICAL SUBSTATION MANY
MILES AWAY FROM THE SCHOOL. IF THIS OCCURS...POWER AT THE SCHOOL
WILL BE LOST WELL BEFORE THE TORNADO APPROACHES THE CAMPUS.

IF YOU HAVE A SAFE ROOM IN THE SCHOOL BUT DO NOT HAVE AN EMERGENCY
GENERATOR...DO YOU KNOW HOW LONG THE EMERGENCY LIGHTING IN THE SAFE
ROOM WILL STAY ON?

IF YOUR SCHOOL HAS A SAFE ROOM...DO YOU HAVE PLANS FOR WHAT YOU WILL
DO WITH PARENTS WHO MAY ARRIVE AT THE SCHOOL AT THE LAST MOMENT?

IF YOU HAVE FIRE DOORS OR OTHER DOORS SOMEWHERE ALONG A SCHOOL
HALLWAY...DO YOU CLOSE THEM AS PART OF YOUR TORNADO PRECAUTIONS?
CLOSING DOORS PART-WAY DOWN A HALLWAY CAN HELP PREVENT THE HALL
FROM BECOMING MUCH LIKE A WIND TUNNEL IF DOORS OR WINDOWS AT THE
END OF THE HALL BLOW IN.
 
IF STUDENTS ARE SHELTERED NEAR LOCKERS OR BOOKCASES...ARE THESE
FIXTURES BOLTED TO THE WALL OR FLOOR SO THAT THEY CANNOT TOPPLE 
OVER?
 
DO YOU HAVE PLANS FOR WHERE YOU WILL SHELTER STUDENTS AND TEACHERS
IF A TORNADO THREAT ARISES WHILE THEY ARE IN THE LUNCHROOM OR AT AN
ASSEMBLY?
 
DO YOU HAVE PLANS FOR WHO WILL NOTIFY STUDENTS...TEACHERS AND
COACHES AND HOW THESE PEOPLE WILL BE NOTIFIED IF A TORNADO THREAT
ARISES BEFORE OR AFTER NORMAL SCHOOL HOURS? THIS WOULD APPLY
WHETHER PEOPLE ARE IN THE BUILDING TAKING PART IN CLUBS...WORKING
ON THE SCHOOL NEWSPAPER...ETC...OR WHETHER THEY ARE TAKING PART IN
ATHLETIC ACTIVITIES OUTDOORS. THIS IS ESPECIALLY IMPORTANT DURING
THE AFTER-SCHOOL HOURS. STATISTICS FOR ARKANSAS SHOW THAT CHANCES
FOR TORNADOES TYPICALLY INCREASE DURING THE LATE AFTERNOON HOURS.

REMEMBER THAT FIRST RESPONDERS MAY BE DELAYED IN GETTING TO THE
SCHOOL IF A TORNADO OCCURS. FOR EXAMPLE...ROADS MAY BE BLOCKED OR
EMERGENCY VEHICLES MAY BE DAMAGED.

&&

FOR A LIST OF ALL THE TORNADOES AND OTHER SIGNIFICANT WEATHER
EVENTS THAT OCCURRED IN 2013...

HTTP://WWW.SRH.NOAA.GOV/IMAGES/LZK/PDF/STORMSOF2013.PDF

$$

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