On Wednesday April 13th at 1:30pm, FOX 17 along with other TV and radio stations throughout Michigan will participate in the statewide Tornado Drill. This is only a test and will last for about one minute. When it is done we will return to normal programming. There is no chance of a tornado happening today in West Michigan.
This Tornado Drill is an opportunity for you and your family to prepare for the upcoming tornado season and practice your emergency plan.
Kent County Emergency Services is not taking part in the drill. The county ran their drill on April 1st and will continue to run drills and testing their warning sirens on the first Friday of the month, each month, until the fall. The next Kent County siren test will be on Friday, May 6th.
The average lead time for tornadoes to develop is 10 to 15 minutes, which means citizens need to be ready to react quickly when a warning is issued.
To be ready for a tornado:
- Identify the lowest place to take cover during a tornado. If a basement does not exist, find an interior hallway away from windows, doors and outside walls.
- Find something sturdy—such as a workbench or stairwell—to get under when taking shelter in the basement or a designated spot.
- Conduct regular tornado drills. Make sure each household member knows where to go and what to do in the event of a tornado.
- Stay tuned to commercial radio or television broadcasts for news on changing weather conditions or approaching storms.
- Know the difference: a Tornado Watch means conditions exist for a tornado to develop; a Tornado Warning means that a tornado has been sighted or indicated by weather radar.
- Be aware of the following signs that can indicate an approaching tornado:
o Dark, often greenish sky
o Large hail
o A large, dark low-lying cloud
o Loud roar, similar to a freight train
- Develop a 72-hour emergency supply kit with essential items such as a three-day supply of water and food, a NOAA Weather Radio, important family documents and items that satisfy unique family needs.
About Severe Weather Awareness Week
Severe Weather Awareness Week is sponsored by the Michigan State Police and the Michigan Committee for Severe Weather Awareness (MCSWA) to educate the public about the danger of tornadoes and other severe weather events, including the precautions that can be taken to save lives and protect families. The MCSWA was formed in 1991 to encourage Michigan residents to be prepared in the event of severe weather. To learn more about the committee, go towww.mcswa.com.
For more information about being safe before, during and after a tornado, go towww.ready.gov/tornadoes.