Did you know that there are 91 outdoor warning sirens around the Amarillo/Potter/Randall area? As we enter severe weather season, we want to make sure you know when these would be activated. The sirens are designed to alert people who are OUTDOORS and not designed to be heard indoors. In the event of a tornado, they will be activated by the Office of Emergency Management on a steady tone for 5 MINUTES. When sounded, immediately move to shelter and listen to local radio or TV stations for emergency warning information. We do test the system the last Friday of every month at 11:30AM, weather permitting, for 90 seconds. Amarillo has a lot of different types of sirens purchased back from the 1950s/60s and was the site for the first FS508 siren installation in the nation now located near Belmar School. Check out our sirens and how they sound on this page: http://oem.amarillo.gov/?page_id=1110
April is National Safe Digging Month! Did you know that every eight minutes an underground utility line is damaged because someone decided to dig without first calling 811. This month reminds diggers the importance of calling 811 before all outdoor digging projects. Striking a single line can cause injury, repair costs, fines and inconvenient outages. Every digging project, no matter how large or small, warrants a call to 811. Installing a mailbox, building a deck and planting a tree or garden are all examples of digging projects that should only begin a few days after a call to 811. When calling 811, homeowners and contractors are connected to the local call center, which notifies the appropriate utility companies of their intent to dig. Professional locators are then sent to the requested digging site to mark the approximate locations of underground lines with flags, paint or both. The depth of utility lines can vary for a number of reasons, such as erosion, previous digging projects and uneven surfaces. Utility lines need to be properly marked because even when digging only a few inches, the risk of striking an underground utility line still exists.
Spring is just around the corner! And with it comes gearing up the forces for severe weather season. Lots of trainings, exercises, and opportunities not only for our first responders and EOC staff but also for you and your families to learn and practice your tornado safety plans. Some things coming up:
- 2/21 Spotter Training – City/County Spotters: EOC Spotters Only
- 2/25 Weather Watch Training – EOC Teams that deploy to our EOC for Severe Weather Ops
- 2/26 Spotter Training - Open to the Public: Want to learn more about storm spotting or become a NWS Skywarn Spotter? This is your chance! Click here for more info.
- 3/3-3/9 Severe Weather Awareness Week - Stay Informed, Be Ready, Go!
- 3/6 City/County Tornado Drill: Join the Drill!! At 10AM we urge businesses, organizations, schools, and families to take a few minutes and practice your protective actions for a large tornado coming your way. City of Amarillo, Potter County, and Randall County will participate, you should too! Click here to for more information on what will take place on March 6
- 3/16 Severe Weather Workshop: Free & Open to the Public. Come to the Amarillo Civic Center Heritage Room from 9AM-1PM. Lots of Weather fun for the whole family. From Weather Booths & Experiments, Poster Contests (find out more info here), meet your local TV & NWS meteorologists, Become Skywarn Spotter certified, presentations, and Lots of Door Prizes!! Come and Check It Out!!