Storm season is approaching, and local emergency services are preparing to begin weather warning siren testing.

Outdoor tornado siren testing starts on Saturday April 7th. After that, testing will be performed on the first Saturday of each month at noon, lasting through October. Livingston County Emergency Manager Therese Cremonte reminds that outdoor warning sirens were specifically developed to warn people who are outside; so that they can move inside and take cover in case of any severe weather or a tornado warning. Cremonte says the sirens are only activated if there is a warning or an actual sighting of a tornado in Livingston County. In times of bad weather, she encourages residents to monitor radio and television stations or consider investing in a NOAA weather radio. Should there be inclement weather in the area during the upcoming testing time April 7th, then the test will be cancelled.

Public safety departments around the county previously consolidated severe weather sirens under a single system as a way to ensure uniform standards and prevent false alarms during storm season. The sirens previously sounded independently for tornado warnings, but they are now connected county-wide and will also sound for severe thunderstorm warnings and sustained winds over 70 miles per hour.

Meanwhile, Livingston County will again be participating in a statewide tornado drill happening on Wednesday, April 11th at 1pm. Residents and businesses are being encouraged to participate if possible. Drills are deemed important to help people prepare for an event and minimize chaos, should something occur. Drills are further said to be especially important for teens and children, in case a tornado strikes when parents are not home and unable to instruct their kids. (JM)