Franklin County Emergency Management has had a severe weather plan in place for several years and it is reviewed each year, Alan Radcliffe, emergency management director, said.
“Franklin County is recognized by the National Weather Service as being storm ready,” Radcliffe said. “That is one of the things we have to have in place is the severe weather plan.”
The plan is intended to be a guide in case severe weather threatens Franklin County, and it is necessary to have in place a set of general guidelines to implement in such cases, according to the plan.
The plan includes definitions of the storms, warnings and watches, when storm spotters will be activated, which personnel can activate the outside warning sirens and lists the staffing of the three levels of emergency operations.
“It also covers our communications plan,” Radcliffe said. “We made the changes to the communications part of it this year. We can put everybody on one talk group.”
Radcliffe said his office helps with large events such as the fair, car and tractor shows.
“We have plans in place for that,” he said. “Graduations generally the schools contact us if there is severe weather threatening so we can monitor that on the days they are having graduations.”
Radcliffe said emergency management coordinates the plan.
“We work with all the cities,” he said. “The outdoor warning sirens are owned and maintained by the cities. The county just activates them. People need to understand the outside warning sirens are just that. If you are sitting in your house and your TV is on, don’t expect to hear them. The outdoor warning siren does not tell you anything, except seek more information and go inside. You can get notifications on your phones now days. If you get amber alerts, you get tornado warnings also.”
Radcliffe said his office monitors the weather daily.
“We watch as the storms build up,” he said. “When they get to the counties bordering us, we really start monitoring them and make decisions on how we are going to monitor it. Are we going to activate storm spotters?”
Under the plan, each storm spotter has a designated location, across the county.