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Governor Gretchen Whitmer has declared March 20-26 Michigan Severe Weather Awareness Week, and Michigan State Police, Department of Emergency and Homeland Security (MSP / EMHSD) is urging residents to take action by participating in a voluntary tornado exercise. staff 13.00 on Wednesday, March 23rd.

“Last summer in Michigan, we saw the devastating effects of harsh weather, from floods, tornadoes and rectilinear winds,” said Gov. Gothen Whitmer. “By taking steps to prepare now, you can protect your home, your family and pets. We ask all residents of Michigan to contribute to the protection of our communities. “

“With an average of 15 tornadoes each year, this is a very real threat to our Michigan communities,” said Colonel Joe Gasper, director of state for emergency and home security and director of police for the state of Michigan. “This exercise will give people a chance to make a plan and test it. By planning now, you can be better prepared for disaster. ”

Businesses, organizations, families and individuals are encouraged to participate in this nationwide training activity, but it is not required. During the exercise, residents will watch or hear alerts on NOAA radio, TV and radio stations. To find out how local alerts are managed in your community and if your community is involved, contact your local emergency agency.

The average development time of a tornado is 10 to 15 minutes, which means residents need to be prepared to respond quickly to a warning.

To be ready for a tornado:

  • Know the difference: Tornado Watch means there are conditions for tornado development; A tornado warning means a tornado has been spotted or indicated by weather radar.
  • Know the signs of a tornado approaching: dark, often greenish skies; large hail; a large dark lowland cloud; and a loud roar like a freight train.
  • Develop an emergency preparedness kit with essential items such as a three-day water and food supply, NOAA weather radio, important family documents, and items that meet the unique needs of the family.
  • Conduct regular tornado exercises. Make sure every householder knows where to go and what to do in the event of a tornado.
  • Follow commercial radio and television broadcasts to get news of weather changes or approaching storms.

For more information on safety before, during and after the tornado, follow MSP / EMHSD on Twitter at @MichEMHS or go to

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