April 23, 2021

South Dakota Tornado Drill – April 21st

A statewide tornado drill conducted in South Dakota between 9:00 and 9:30 am MDT on Wednesday, April 21, 2021. Because the exercise is used to ensure communications and warning systems are functioning properly before storm season, people will see and hear the actual alerts used for tornadoes. Communities may sound local warning sirens, although the sirens may not be heard inside homes and buildings, especially large office buildings, as they are intended to alert people who are outdoors away from radio or TV. Local emergency response agencies may practice their response procedures and schools will conduct safety drills for their students.

The drill will also include a test of the Emergency Alert System, which will interrupt local media broadcasts. The scroll on television will look like a real warning, while the audio will be identified as a test. Cell phone alerts and other electronic notification systems will not be involved in the test.

Information on preparing for storms is on the Severe Weather Preparedness Week web page.  People may also contact their county emergency management office or the Black Hills Area Chapter of the American Red Cross for additional information.

Weather Spotter Training

Are you interested in becoming a trained weather spotter?  The National Weather Service (NWS) established SKYWARN® with partner organizations. SKYWARN® is a volunteer program with between 350,000 and 400,000 trained severe weather spotters. These volunteers help keep their local communities safe by providing timely and accurate reports of severe weather to the National Weather Service.

Who is eligible and how do I get started?

NWS encourages anyone with an interest in public service to join the SKYWARN® program. Volunteers include police and fire personnel, dispatchers, EMS workers, public utility workers and other concerned private citizens. Individuals affiliated with hospitals, schools, churches and nursing homes or who have a responsibility for protecting others are encouraged to become a spotter. Training is free and typically lasts about 2 hours. You’ll learn:

  • Basics of thunderstorm development
  • Fundamentals of storm structure
  • Identifying potential severe weather features
  • Information to report
  • How to report information
  • Basic severe weather safety

The next training for our area will be held on Wednesday, April 14 at 7:00 pm MDT.  Contact the Fall River County Emergency Manager, Frank Maynard, for local class space or virtual login information.  605-890-7245 or [email protected]

Earthquake

Map of 3.4 magnitude earthquake from March 26th 2021.

At 8:52 am on Friday, March 26 a 3.4 magnitude earthquake took place 7.5 miles east-northeast of Edgemont.

 

View information on recent earthquakes on the USGS earthquake map.

Winter Weather Preparedness

As the winter season approaches, the National Weather Service encourages people to prepare for extreme winter conditions by taking the following steps:

– Check your vehicle’s battery, antifreeze, wipers and windshield washer, ignition, thermostat, and tires.

– Even if you do not make long trips, put a winter survival kit in each vehicle–you may need it if your car breaks down or you have an accident.  It should contain a windshield scraper, jumper cables, tool kit, tow chain or rope, tire chains, bag of sand or cat litter, shovel, flashlight with extra batteries, first aid kit, warm boots, coat, hat, gloves, and a blanket.  For longer trips; add extra clothes, sleeping bags, a portable radio, high-calorie nonperishable food, matches and candles, and large coffee cans for sanitary purposes or burning candles.

– Keep an adequate supply of fuel for your home or get an alternative heating source.  Learn how to operate stoves, fireplaces, and space heaters safely and have proper ventilation to use them.

– Add insulation to your home; caulk and weather-strip doors and window sills; install storm windows or cover windows with plastic.

– Stock emergency supplies at home; such as flashlights, candles, matches, a battery-powered radio, extra batteries, and a first-aid kit.

– Monitor Internet web sites, NOAA Weather Radio, or local radio or television stations for forecasts and information about impending storms.

 

Know the terms used to describe hazardous winter weather and what actions to take for each situation.

A WINTER STORM WATCH means a dangerous winter storm is possible.  WATCHES are issued to give people time to prepare for hazardous conditions before they develop.  When a WATCH is in effect:

– Postpone trips or take a different route.  Put a survival kit in your vehicle.  Tell someone your schedule and route; call them when you arrive at your destination.  If possible, travel in daylight and use major highways.  Keep your fuel tank as full as possible to avoid ice in the tank and lines.

– At home; have high energy food or food that requires no cooking, one gallon of water per day for each person, and enough fuel for the duration of the storm.  Don’t forget special items for your family such as prescription medicine, baby formula and diapers, and pet food!

– Consider having elderly, ill, or oxygen-dependent family, friends, and neighbors who live in rural areas stay someplace where heat and electric power are available.

 

WINTER STORM AND BLIZZARD WARNINGS mean a dangerous storm will occur.

– Do not travel.  You are safer to stay where you are rather than risk getting stranded in a ditch.

– If you have no heat, close off unneeded rooms and wear extra clothes.

– Do not operate power generators indoors.

 

WIND CHILL WARNINGS AND ADVISORIES stress the increased risk of frostbite and hypothermia during cold and windy conditions.

– Stay inside as much as possible.  If you go outdoors; wear several layers of loose-fitting, lightweight clothing and water-repellent outer garments. Cover all parts of your body; especially your head, face, and hands.

– When working outdoors, do not overexert yourself.  Remove damp clothing as soon as possible to avoid becoming chilled.

 

Additional information on preparing for winter weather is available from your county emergency management office, American Red Cross, or National Weather Service at http://www.nws.noaa.gov/om/winter/index.shtml

 

Wall Fire

There has been some public concern expressed over the Wall Fire. Below is a map showing the location and approximate size of the fire. This fire is a good distance from any structures.

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