On Wednesday, a statewide tornado drill will take place as part of Michigan’s 2016 Severe Weather Awareness Week scheduled for April 10-16.
The drill will start at 1:30 p.m. EDT and government officials are encouraging all agencies, organizations, families and individuals to be a part of the preparedness activity.
During the drill, some municipalities may set off their community warning sirens, and anyone who owns a weather radio will hear it alert to a tornado warning.
As part of severe weather preparedness, residents should have a well thought out shelter spot that contains necessary supplies like extra food, clothing and water, emergency officials say.
While tornadoes can occur during any time of the year, they are especially common during the late spring and early summer months.
“Tornadoes can develop rapidly, with little or no warning,” said Capt. Chris A. Kelenske, Deputy State Director of Emergency Management and Homeland Security and commander of the MSP/EMHSD.
“Due to their unpredictable nature, we must be ready well in advance. We’re asking citizens and businesses to take few extra steps during the week to ensure they’re prepared and safe.”
The average lead time for tornadoes to develop is 10 to 15 minutes, which means citizens need to be ready to react quickly when a warning is issued.
To be ready for a tornado:
- Identify the lowest place to take cover during a tornado. If a basement does not exist, find an interior hallway away from windows, doors and outside walls.
- Go under something sturdy—such as a workbench or stairwell—when taking shelter in the basement or designated spot.
- Conduct regular tornado drills. Make sure each household member knows where to go and what to do in the event of a tornado.
- Stay tuned to commercial radio or television broadcasts for news on changing weather conditions or approaching storms.
- Know the difference: a Tornado Watch means conditions exist for a tornado to develop; a Tornado Warning means that a tornado has been sighted or indicated by weather radar.
- Be aware of the following signs that can indicate an approaching tornado:
- Dark, often greenish sky
- Large hail
- A large, dark low-lying cloud
- Loud roar, similar to a freight train
- Develop a 72-hour emergency supply kit with essential items such as a three-day supply of water and food, a NOAA Weather Radio, important family documents and items that satisfy unique family needs.
For more information, visit www.Michigan.gov/MIReady.