Thermopolis Independent Record - Your source for news in Hot Springs County

By Cindy Glasson
Reporter Photographer 

Make sure you are signed up for CodeRED

 


Over the past few weeks Hot Springs County has had several tornado watches or warnings, something that is rather unusual for our basin.

Hot Springs County Emergency Management attempted a test of the tornado warning sirens last Friday, but due to technical difficulties, the sirens did not go off. Emergency Management Director Bill Gordon said a technician was called in and the situation has been rectified.

After a CodeRED message was sent out sounding the all clear last Thursday, many people were concerned that they had not received a message earlier stating there was a tornado warning for the county.

When the National Weather Service issues a warning, Gordon immediately reviews the live radar to see where the potential storm is and which direction it is traveling in.

In some cases, the warning may be in just a sliver of the outside edge of the county, not posing a threat to the community.

“After I’ve looked at the data I make the decision whether a CodeRED is needed or not,” Gordon said. “I’m not going to send people to their basements about a storm that’s 45 miles away and not moving this direction.

“People need to be aware that if a storm is even touching our county border, the National Weather Service is required to add Hot Springs County to the warning.”

Unfortunately, in this age of electronics in nearly everyone’s hand, panic about the possibility of a tornado can spread like wildfire. There are several weather apps for cell phones, but just because Hot Springs County is listed on the warning it does not necessarily mean there is an actual threat to town as the storm may be miles away.

“If you hear the sirens, that’s the time to take cover,” Gordon said. “The tornado siren is a high-low tone. A steady tone is used for the all clear when we’re safe again.”

If you are not yet signed up for the CodeRED service, you may go to the county’s website, hscounty.com, click on the CodeRED logo to register your phone number.

You may also sign up by calling 864-4649.

 

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