Statewide tornado drill to take place Wednesday - WNEM TV 5

Statewide tornado drill to take place Wednesday

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Authorities are asking Michigan residents, businesses and organizations to participate in a voluntary statewide tornado drill.

Officials say nearly all state of Michigan facilities will participate in the 1 p.m. Wednesday drill.

Central Michigan University Police report that Isabella County is not activating their sirens today.

In preparation for possible tornadoes, people should identify the lowest place to take cover or find an interior hallway away from windows, doors and outside walls. Sturdy workbenches and stairwells also can provide shelter in a basement or other designated area.

Each member of a household should know where to go and what to do in the event of a tornado and monitor news reports for updates on approaching storms.

Emergency supply kits with enough food and water to last three days should be prepared. Important family documents also can be stored in the kits.

There is a possibility for severe weather in Michigan on Wednesday. In the event of severe weather, the test will be postponed until Thursday, April 20 at 1 p.m.

Tornadoes are some of nature’s most violent storms. They appear as a rotating, funnel-shaped cloud that extends from a thunderstorm to the ground with whirling winds that can reach 300 miles per hour. Damage paths can be in excess of one mile wide and 50 miles long.

Michigan State Police said it’s always important for families to have a plan in place before severe weather happens.

To help prepare your family:

  • Participate in the Statewide Tornado Drill
  • Identify the safest location in the lowest level of your home.
  • Talk to your family about how you will communicate in the event that you are not at home when a tornado hits.
  • Plan a way to monitor local weather and news while in shelter.
  • Charge cell phones.
  • Move lawn furniture and outdoor objects-such as trashcans-into the garage.
  • Identify the safest location to shelter and know the building's safety plans if you are at work or school.
  • Sign up to receive text or email alerts from your local media, weather provider or the National Weather Service.
  • Prepare for a power outage. See Blackouts

Officials also recommend families have tornado-specific items in their preparedness kits, including a blanket to protect your head from sharp objects.

Signs of a tornado include:

  • Dark, green-tinted sky
  • Large hail
  • Large, dark, low-lying clouds
  • Loud roar
  • Severe storms

Officials said tornadoes usually occur in the late spring and early summer. They also typically happen between 3 p.m. and 9 p.m. 

During a tornado, here are some steps your family can take to stay safe:

  • Seek shelter in the lowest level of your home.
  • Stay away from objects that can easily be blown around.
  • Seek additional shelter under sturdy objects such as tables, couches or stairwells
  • If no basement is available, seek shelter in the most interior room of your house.
  • Stay away from windows and doors.
  • Listen to a local media channel or NOAA weather radio for updates.
  • Protect your head from glass and sharp objects with a pillow or blanket.
  • If you are in a car and no shelter is available, pull over and let your surroundings determine your next action to either:
  • Stay in the car with the seat belt on. Put your head down below the windows, and cover your head with your hands and a blanket if possible.
  • If you can safely get noticeably lower than the level of the roadway, exit the car and lie in that area, covering your head with your hands.
  • If you are boating, go to land and seek shelter immediately.
  • If in public, go to the designated shelter areas.

After a tornado:

  • Inspect your property and motor vehicles for damage. Look for electrical problems and gas leaks.
  • Avoid and report downed power lines.
  • Check on your food supply.
  • Wear sturdy shoes, long sleeves, and gloves when you clean up debris.
  • Check and restock and supplies from your emergency preparedness kit that were used.
  • If you suspect home damage, shut off electrical power, natural gas and propane tanks.

For more information on how to keep your family safe during severe weather, click here

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