The area was spared the destruction from the tornadoes that ripped through southern and eastern Kentucky a week ago, but local emergency management personnel said the event reinforced the need for preparedness.
With the most active months for tornadoes still ahead, Boyle County Emergency Management Director Lennie Shepperson said people should be ready for what might happen. Even though many of the tips about how to be ready and stay safe during severe weather are oft-repeated, some need to be drilled home as much as possible, Shepperson said.
"You need to know where the shelters are at home, work and even when you are out shopping," Shepperson said.
The best place to be is in the lowest, most central part of a structure, preferably in a basement. Small closets, particularly those under stairways, hallways and bathtubs are also better than being out in the open.
"The more walls you can put between yourself and the outside the better," Shepperson said.
There was actually more warning than usual to prepare for Friday's weather, which meant many people did seek an appropriate spot to ride out the storm.
Boyle had shelters set up at the Boyle County Courthouse, Danville city hall, the Danville Central Fire Station and two Perryville churches to bring in people without a safe place to go. Shepperson said about 40 total people at the shelters and those locations should be sufficient during future storms.
One thing there remains some confusion about is the county's warning siren system.
According to Shepperson, the sirens are sounded when the National Weather Service issues a storm or tornado warning. The sirens sound for three minutes about every 10 minutes while the warning is in effect. There is no all-clear siren, so people should stay where they are for 10-15 minutes after the last siren.
The EMA director also noted the sirens are to warn people who are outside to seek shelter and not intended to warn those who are inside their homes.
Shepperson said people should put together kits that include a flashlight, plenty of batteries, any essential medications and nonperishable food and water for a few days. A weather radio, which Shepperson said retails for about $30, is a key tool for letting people know about storms that develop more rapidly.
Although there was not any significant damage locally, many believe the cell that hit West Liberty and other counties could just as easily ravaged Boyle and Garrard counties. Shepperson said nothing could stop the kind of damage from happening as a result of the tornadoes, but he hopes people take lessons about how to be as safe and prepared as possible.
"It could have very well been us," Shepperson said. "I firmly believe you will act the way you have trained to act. People need to have an idea what they are going to do."