February 27, 2017

Tornado Preparedness

emTornadoes are a common, yet very destructive, natural disaster hazard in our community. Annually, Logan County averages 2-3 tornadoes, according to a 53 year tornado study. Most tornadoes have ranged from F0-F2 on the Fujita Wind scale. F3 tornadoes and stronger are rare, but very possible, as was evident in the Dailey Tornado of 2001.

Tornado Totals 1950 – 2003 (click for larger image)


Tornado Watch Procedures

Established by the National Weather Service, a TORNADO WATCH means that current or near future weather conditions are favorable for the formation of tornadoes in our area. During any Tornado Watch, everyone should:

  • Remain alert for approaching storms.
  • Check your 72-Hour Kit.
  • Be aware of tornado shelters in your area. If you must evacuate your home for a stronger structure, be prepared to go there in short notice.
  • Keep in contact with your local radio or cable for a possible tornado warning

Tornado Warning Procedures

A TORNADO WARNING means that a tornado has been sighted or indicated by weather radar. If a tornado warning is issued for your area, indicated by activated sirens and an announcement on your television, you should do the following:

  • Move IMMEDIATELY to a pre-designated place of safety or to one of Sterling’s public shelters. Basements or crawlspaces are good places to go.
  • If you don’t have a basement, choose an interior hall or bathroom.
  • Stay away from large rooms or windows.
  • Monitor local radio for the “all clear”. (Note: Sirens will not sound for an “all clear”. Local radio will notify any “all clear” message.)

Public Shelters

First English Lutheran Church (South side of town)
701  Fairhurst Street

Faith United Methodist Church (Charmony area)
230 Williams Place

Church of Latter Day Saints (Mid North 7th Avenue area)  Handicap accessible
513 North 7th Ave

Sterling Foursquare Church (City Hall area)
427 North 5th Street

First Christian Church (West end ball park area)
12915 Logan County Road 35 (Highway 14 & Ball Park Road)

Logan County Courthouse ANNEX building  (Downtown area)  Handicap accessible
315 East Main Street (Brick building west of the main courthouse)




Local Warning Systems

The Office of Emergency Management employs a number of ways to warn the public of severe tornado weather.

Testing of city sirens and the cable television warning system will be done every Friday at Noon, beginning April 1 through October 1. Testing will not be done during threatening or questionable weather conditions.

Who do I call if I think I have sighted a tornado?
Call the Sterling Emergency Communications Center at (970) 522-3512. Give the location of the tornado and your name and phone number. Take shelter immediately!