I know what you're thinking. You're thinking "Hey, didn't I just hear a bunch of severe weather sirens going off on Tuesday morning? What was all that? Is that what you're talking about here?"

Well, that was just the standard monthly testing of the severe weather/tornado warning sirens that they do every month on the second Tuesday. The statewide tornado drill that will be happening tomorrow (March 6th, 2024) is all part of Illinois' Severe Weather Preparedness Week, which kicked off on Monday. The topics this week include:

  • Monday: Receiving warnings
  • Tuesday: Lightning
  • Wednesday: Tornadoes and a tornado drill
  • Thursday: Hail and winds
  • Friday: Flash floods
Test on calendar icon on screen
This is only a test. (Getty Images)
Getty Images
Getty Images

For Many Of Us, This May Be The First Tornado Drill You've Taken Part In Since You Were In School

The big difference will probably be that you won't have to stay after school and write sentences on the board if you screw around during the drill. Not that something like that happened to me in 4th grade or anything like that...okay, it did. Twice.

If you're old enough, you may even remember doing the cold-war era Duck & Cover civil defense drills in school after watching the Bert the Turtle cartoon on your classroom movie projector:

Getty Images
Getty Images
Getty Images
A stoned-looking turtle was deemed to be very effective in getting the message out. (Getty Images)

Bert The Turtle Aside, Here's What's Going On With Wednesday's Statewide Tornado Drill

Well, at least you won't be shocked out of bed early tomorrow for the statewide tornado drill. The National Weather Service says that the tornado drill will take place at 11am, local time.


The statewide drill comes a little over a week after a rare February tornado outbreak, when a round of intense storms battered parts of the state with strong winds, hail and rain, leaving behind a path of damage.

The NWS later confirmed that 11 tornados touched down in Illinois on Tuesday night, including 10 in Chicagoland.

Since this tornado drill comes only one day after the monthly testing of the severe weather/tornado sirens, the expectation at this time is that sirens won't be used in the drill.

What do you have to do when it happens?

Nothing, really. The purpose of the exercise is to help make sure that Illinois residents know the difference between watches and warnings, and to encourage people and families to identify safe places where they can shelter during severe weather.

KEEP READING: What to do after a tornado strikes

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