Redstone Arsenal conducts tornado drills to stay ready for severe weather

This is an archived article and the information in the article may be outdated. Please look at the time stamp on the story to see when it was last updated.
Data pix.

REDSTONE ARSENAL, Ala. (WHNT) -- Shortly after 9:30 a.m., Tuesday,  the tornado sirens started to wail. Employees gathered in their safe places and the crisis management team flocked to the emergency operations center.

Thankfully, it was all only a drill, but one that Redstone Arsenal officials say is crucial.

"Tornado is our number one threat to the Arsenal," said Chief of Plans and Operations Timothy D'Ambrosio. "We actually do two exercises per year."

Team Redstone performed these full-scale exercises as if a tornado truly had hit the base, complete with an at-the-ready crisis management team and emergency personnel disaster response teams.

While many of Tuesday's drills were familiar routines, officials also tested some fresh technology.

"We're working on new software products that allows us to communicate with all the ten organizations simultaneously," said D'Ambrosio. "They don't have to call here to ask us what's going on. They're getting those updates right now live."

The exercises may sound or look extreme, but he said they are done with the ultimate goal of keeping employees safe.

"We want to make sure that we protect everyone on the Arsenal. We want to make sure that at the end of the day we get them to go home to their loved ones."

The preparedness exercises will continue Wednesday. Officials will focus on the recovery phase after severe weather strikes, including opening a mass care facility and a family assistance center.

Notice: you are using an outdated browser. Microsoft does not recommend using IE as your default browser. Some features on this website, like video and images, might not work properly. For the best experience, please upgrade your browser.