Severe Weather Awareness Week is April 19-23
Severe Weather Awareness Week takes place April 19-23 this year, with the statewide tornado drills on Thursday, April 24.
At 1:45 p.m. on Thursday, the National Weather Service will issue a simulated tornado warning, and outdoor warning sirens will be activated. At 6:55 p.m., a second drill will take place in Wadena County for families and second-shift workers.
"Every family and business should take this opportunity to put weather emergency plans into action," said Scott McKellep, director of emergency management. "Tornados follow no pattern, and dangerous thunderstorms are common in Minnesota. There's no substitute for practice when the real thing comes along."
According to National Weather Service data, tornadoes have occurred in every Minnesota County at some time during the past 60 years. Wadena County has experienced 12 tornadoes since 1950. Data is available at www.severeweather.state.mn.us/images/tortally_2009.jpg
The Minnesota Department of Public Safety Division of Homeland Security and Emergency Management, along with the National Weather Service, sponsors Severe Weather Awareness Week annually to promote weather knowledge and planning. Their Web site at www.severeweather.state.mn.us contains tornado safety information along with instructions on surviving thunderstorms, hail, straight-line winds, heat waves, floods and lightning. Links to the National Weather Service and the Red Cross provide fascinating weather facts and a variety of downloadable resources for families, teachers and children.
For local resources, contact Wadena County Emergency Management at (218) 631-7795 or go to www.co.wadena.mn.us and follow the emergency management links.