Owatonna Fire Department News

Minnesota Severe Weather Awareness Week is April 13-17, 2015

Emergency Management update from Mike J. Johnson, Director:

The statewide tornado drills are Thursday, April 16, 2015 at 1:45 P.M. and 6:55 P.M.

The Steele County sirens and all NOAA Weather Radios in Minnesota will sound with a simulated tornado warning for both afternoon and evening drills. This is a great opportunity to review emergency plans and procedures, and conduct emergency drills at work and at home.

Are you ready for severe weather?  Each year, Steele County Emergency Management, Minnesota Homeland Security Emergency Management 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.  

Two of the most important events during Severe Weather Awareness Week are the annual statewide tornado drills when sirens across the state and in Steele County will sound off. These drills are scheduled for Thursday, April 16, 2015 at 1:45 p.m. and 6:55 p.m. 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.

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 will focus on a different topic:
• Monday — Alerts and Warnings
• Tuesday — Severe Weather, Lightning and Hail
• Wednesday — Floods
• Thursday — Tornadoes (with statewide tornado drills)
• Friday — Extreme Heat

Check each page link above for specific information about these topics, including factsheets, checklists, data and other resources.