Today is the day for the statewide tornado drill.  All Illinois Weather Service offices send a "test" tornado warning to local news media and others to make sure the system is working properly.  Officials plan the test every year on the first Tuesday of March to verify that warning systems such as the Emergency Alert System, law enforcement systems and weather alert radios are working properly. 

It also is done so that some communities can conduct an outdoor siren test.  John Nell, SKYWARN Weatherspotter Training Facilitator at Lewis & Clark Community College, says sirens have their place, but...

Click here for Nell's comments

He recommends instead a weather radio, or signing up for the Code Red warning system, which alerts you of incoming weather through your phone.  Nell says you should make sure everyone knows where to go if there is a severe thunderstorm or tornado warning, whether it be in you basement, a bathroom with no windows, or under a heavy piece of furniture. 

(Copyright WBGZ Radio/ www.AltonDailyNews.com )