Minnehaha Emergency Management prepared for severe weather - KSFY News - Sioux Falls, SD News, Weather, Sports

Minnehaha Emergency Management prepared for severe weather

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The Minnehaha County Emergency Management team is prepared to death with any severe weather that may come our way tonight and throughout this severe weather season. 

Just last week, emergency crews had severe weather training at the Washington Pavilion, they've also been busy checking sirens and emergency gear to be prepared for anything. 

"In the last several months we've been really checking those outdoor warning sirens to ensure that they work also so that if people are outside at the lake or ballpark, they do get a warning if and when a tornado is spotted or indicated within Minnehaha County," said Minnehaha County Emergency Management Director Lynn DeYoung. 

Over the past few years, crews have also upgraded tornado sirens to cover a larger area. 

"The previous area was about 2400 feet, the new area is double that, its 5200 feet," said DeYoung. 

The sirens now cover all communities in Minnehaha County, with the goal of reaching people through the storm. 

"Typically, when a siren is activated, the wind's blowing, the trees are shaking, all of that stuff so you may not here because all of the other weather is going on," said DeYoung. 

But often times, when people do hear the sirens, they head for the porch to take a look at the weather instead of taking cover; however, the Joplin, MO, tornado is a perfect example of just how dangerous that can be. 

"People don't take cover for some reason and as a result, of that over 150 died. When the sirens go off it's no kidding—they don't go off for just high winds in Minnehaha county, they don't go off for anything else, they go off only for tornados so what that really means if its going off in your community, it's time to take shelter," said DeYoung. 

While many people will be able to hear the sirens in their homes, DeYoung says they are intended to warn people who are outdoors.  He recommends that people indoors should follow local TV & radio stations or digital weather app's to stay on top of severe weather.

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