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Tornado exercise Wednesday afternoon

With this week being declared Michigan Severe Weather Awareness Week, a statewide tornado exercise is scheduled for 1 p.m. on March 23.

Huron County Emergency Services Director Randy Miller said the exercise is a test of the system to make sure all parts of the notification process are working for the state. At the county level, emergency services are taking this opportunity to test the local notification system, which includes triggering all tornado sirens in the county.

“Winter weather sometimes takes a toll on sirens and the test will let us know which sirens need attention and maintenance,” Miller said.

Huron County tornado sirens will sound for two full minutes at a brisk pace. The county doesn’t issue “all clear” messages, so Miller wants people to check the weather for themselves using weather apps for TV, radio or phone.

“With an average of 15 tornadoes each year, this is a very real threat to our Michigan communities,” said Col. Joe Gasper, Director of Emergency Management and Homeland Security and Chief of Police. of the State of Michigan in a press release. “This exercise will give people the opportunity to develop a plan and put it to the test. By planning now, you can be better prepared in the event of a disaster.

Miller recommends residents take any tornado watch seriously, since the tornadoes that touched down in the Port Austin area last year happened during a tornado watch, get a weather app on your phone, access at the lowest level of your home or workplace if a tornado warning is issued and stay away from windows.

According to the state’s Tornado website, here are some other preparedness tips:

  • Put together an emergency kit and develop a family communication plan.
  • Be alert to changing weather conditions. Look for approaching storms.
  • Danger signs for tornadoes include dark, greenish skies, large hail, a large dark cloud, and a loud roar.
  • Sign up for your community’s alert system. The Emergency Alert System and the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration also provide emergency alerts.
  • Identify FEMA-constructed safe rooms or storm shelters or other potential locations in solid buildings near your home, work, and other high-traffic areas so you have a plan for where to go. know where you will go quickly for your safety.
  • Listen to NOAA Weather Radio or commercial radio or television newscasts for the latest information.