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Home Activity: Statewide tornado drill scavenger hunt

Tornado sirens still relevant
Posted at 7:11 AM, Mar 25, 2020
and last updated 2020-03-25 07:16:53-04

GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. — Severe storms happen every stormy season and can sometimes be very damaging. Are you and your family prepared when storms arrive? We continue with severe weather awareness week in Michigan with the statewide tornado drill today. The drill will act a little different this year due to our stay at home order. Typically, at one o’clock we would hear many city’s sirens go off, hear alerts over NOAA weather radios and even on your TV screens. Today though the Grand Rapids NWS urged many communities to not sound those sirens so no additional anxiety is caused by hearing those tests or receiving alerts. The normal weekly radio tests will still happen though this morning at 11 o’clock.

The NWS is asking everyone to practice social distancing and not practice gathering in your storm shelter locations with any business or companies. What you can do though is practice with your family and start a conversation about severe weather. It probably the first time you will be able to do this as a family at home since everyone is out of school.

So first, before we get to our scavenger hunt to help us prepare let's understand the difference between a watch and a warning when it comes to severe storms.

Let's think of this like a cupcake! A cupcake watch is when you have all the ingredient set out on the counter and everything is there that is needed to make a cupcake. There is no threat at this time but it is when you need to pay attention to the weather as the conditions are all there for storms to develop.

A cupcake warning is when you put all those ingredients together and made a cupcake. This is when storms develop as all those favorable ingredients in the atmosphere come together to create a storm. Now is the time to take action and follow our weather team's coverage to stay safe. You will want to go to your safe place in your home to take shelter. Your safe space should be an interior room without windows on the lowest level of your home.

Now that we understand when to take action with storms we need to be prepared! Our scavenger hunt will help you put together a basic kit to be prepare for storms.

What you need:
- Scavenger hunt list
- identified safe space
- Running shoes!

This list has items on it that are recommended by the NWS for a basic preparedness kit. Like a typical scavenger hunt you want to get everyone together say “ready set go” and let the kids lose through the house! See who can find the most items and how many items you already have in your home!

Once you have completed the scavenger hunt place them in your backpack and get ready to head to your safe space this afternoon at 1 o'clock. If you are missing items on this list now is your time to get those items and add them to your kit. Its' also a good time to make sure everyone knows where your safe space is in the house.

Send pictures from your scavenger hunt and safe space to our meteorologist Candace Monacelli at candace.monacelli@fox17online.com or her Facebook page!