The National Weather Service has proclaimed the week of March 4 Severe Weather Preparedness Week.
As we do every month, on Tuesday, March 6, at 10 a.m., we will conduct a test of the Sitewide Emergency Warning System (SEWS). At the same time, we will also test our tornado warning system and conduct our annual test of the Fermilab emergency messaging system, through Everbridge.
People in buildings identified as “occupied,” including Wilson Hall, are encouraged to participate either by evacuating to their designated tornado or severe-weather shelter or by participating in a tabletop exercise with area emergency wardens. The start of the tornado drill will coincide with the audible SEWS test announcement at 10 a.m.
We suggest that everyone take advantage of this test to remind staff of local tornado procedures or to practice reacting to the tornado alarms and moving to and occupying designated tornado shelters. It is at the discretion of division or section management as to which option is exercised during this test.
To minimize confusion, management must ensure their personnel are briefed prior to the test as to what actions will be expected (for example, move to shelter, discuss movements and shelter locations or ignore instructions provided over the SEWS). This is particularly important for multitenant buildings such as Wilson Hall.
At 10 a.m. the following message will be issued by the Communication Center indicating the beginning of the test and drill:
- “This is a test, this is a test. The National Weather Service has issued a simulated tornado warning for the area including Fermilab. This is a test. At this time move to your designated shelter locations. This is a test.”
At 10:10 a.m. the following message will be issued by the Communication Center indicating the end of the test and drill:
- “This is a test, this is a test. The simulated tornado warning issued by the National Weather Service for this area has expired. Please reset all sitewide emergency receivers at this time. This is a test.”
Your help in completing the March 6 exercise — whether by running the drill or as a tabletop exercise — will help ensure everyone’s safety.
David Esterquest is Fermilab security chief and emergency manager.