Are you ready for severe weather? Each year, HSEM in collaboration with the National Weather Service and 16 State and local agencies and organizations sponsors Severe Weather Awareness Week in Minnesota. The week is designed to refresh, remind and educate everyone about the seasonal threats from severe weather and how to avoid them. It's also a great time to make and practice your emergency plan and build or refresh your emergency preparedness kit.
Statewide Tornado Drills
The most important events during Severe Weather Awareness Week are the two annual statewide tornado drills. These drills are scheduled for Thursday, April 12, at 1:45 p.m. and 6:45 p.m. (Counties may choose to opt out of the drills if actual severe weather is possible in the area)
Outdoor warning sirens and NOAA Weather Radios will sound in a simulated tornado warning. The first drill is intended for institutions and businesses. The evening drill is intended for second shift workers and families.
Why Severe Weather Awareness Week?
According to the National Weather Service, Minnesota experiences an average of 40 tornadoes per year. In 2012, 37 twisters touched down. A record was set in 2010 with 104 tornadoes across the state.
Understanding this threat and knowing what to do when a tornado is approaching can save lives.
Take advantage of Severe Weather Awareness Week to review your own and your family's emergency procedures and prepare for weather-related hazards.
Each day of the week focuses on a different weather safety topic:
Monday — Alerts and Warnings
Tuesday — Severe Weather, Lightning and Hail
Wednesday — Floods
Thursday — Tornadoes [with statewide tornado drills]
Friday — Extreme Heat
Check the following page for links to specific information about these topics, including factsheets, checklists, data and other resources: https://dps.mn.gov/divisions/hsem/weather-awareness-preparedness/Pages/severe-weather-awareness-week-program.aspx.
How to Participate
If you are interested in some ideas on how you, your family, business, or your community can participate in Severe Weather Awareness Week, check out some ideas at https://dps.mn.gov/divisions/hsem/weather-awareness-preparedness/Documents/swaw-2018-info-sheet.pdf.
Educators, leaders or communicators may want to use the link to the Severe Weather Awareness Week PowerPoint Presentation to help deliver this information.