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Voluntary tornado drill scheduled for 1 p.m. Wednesday across Michigan

Are you prepared for a severe weather?

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On Wednesday, March 20 at 1 p.m., a voluntary statewide tornado drill is scheduled.

The drill comes in the middle of Severe Weather Awareness Week. The drill gives residents an opportunity to make a tornado plan and put it to the test. The average lead time for tornadoes to develop is 10 to 15 minutes, requiring quick action to get to safety.

Businesses, organizations, families, and individuals are encouraged to participate. During the tornado drill, local emergency management agencies or communities may sound outdoor sirens or send out a community alert on their emergency app.


Contact your local emergency management agency to learn how local alerts are administrated in your community and if your community is participating.

Here are some tips on how to be ready for a tornado:

  • Know the difference: a tornado WATCH means conditions exist for a tornado to develop; a tornado WARNING means a tornado has been sighted or indicated by weather radar and you should take shelter immediately.
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  • Know the signs of an approaching tornado: dark, often greenish sky; large hail; a large, dark low-lying cloud; and a loud roar, like a freight train.
  • Stay tuned to television, radio, or some social media apps for the weather conditions.
  • Develop an emergency preparedness kit with essential items such as a three-day water and food supply, a NOAA Weather Radio, a cellphone, and important family documents.
  • Identify a safe place in your home for household members and pets to gather during a tornado like a basement or interior room with no windows.
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