March 25, 2019
With Gov. Gretchen Whitmer declaring March 24-30 as Michigan’s Severe Weather Awareness Week, the Michigan State Police, Emergency Management and Homeland Security Division (MSP/EMHSD) is calling on residents to take action by participating in a voluntary statewide tornado drill at 1 p.m. on Wednesday, March 27.
“While tornadoes can happen any time of the year, they are especially common in late spring and early summer,” said Capt. Emmitt McGowan, deputy state director of Emergency Management and Homeland Security and commander of the MSP/EMHSD. “This drill is an opportunity for residents to make a plan and test it as if this were a real event. Plan now and you’ll be better prepared when a disaster happens.”
Businesses, organizations, families and individuals are encouraged to engage in this statewide preparedness activity but are not required to do so. Nearly all state of Michigan facilities will participate.
During the statewide tornado drill residents will observe or hear alerts on NOAA Weather Radios, TV and radio stations. To learn how local alerts are administrated in your community and if your community is participating, contact your local emergency management agency.
The average lead time for tornadoes to develop is 10 to 15 minutes, which means residents need to be ready to react quickly when a warning is issued.
To be ready for a tornado:
- Know the difference: Tornado Watch means conditions exist for a tornado to develop; Tornado Warning means a tornado has been sighted or indicated by weather radar.
- Know the signs of an approaching tornado: dark, often greenish sky; large hail; a large, dark low-lying cloud; and loud roar, like a freight train.
- Develop an emergency preparedness 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.
- 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.