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Ottawa County holding monthly outdoor warning siren test this Friday

VIDEO: Tornado crosses Florida interstate as severe weather batters Tampa Bay area
Posted at 11:23 AM, May 03, 2021
and last updated 2021-05-03 11:23:44-04

OTTAWA COUNTY, Mich. — Ottawa County will hold its monthly outdoor warning siren test this Friday.

These tests occur on the first Friday of every month, April through October, according to a news release Monday.

Outdoor warning sirens are used to alert residents of an “imminent hazard” and prompt them to find shelter and seek further information.

Severe weather “watch” means there’s a potential for storms and/or tornadoes to develop, so residents should be mindful of changing weather conditions.

A severe weather “warning” means storms are either imminent or actively happening.

If a tornado warning is issued, officials say residents should take shelter in a location on the lowest level of a building

Ottawa County Emergency Management offered the following tips for preparing for severe weather:

  • Identify safe rooms that may serve as a protective location during a storm event.
  • Build an emergency kit, as well as a communication plan for your family.
  • Be alert and remain situationally aware to changing weather conditions.
  • Subscribe to Ottawa County Emergency Alerts through a Smart911 profile.

After a storm, officials recommend residents:

  • Listen to local officials for updates and instructions.
  • Check in with family and friends using text or social media outlets.
  • Watch for debris or downed power lines.
  • Photograph the damage to your property for damage assessment.
  • Check and restock emergency supply kits.