Because severe weather can threaten the lives and property of Minnesotans at any time, Governor Mark Dayton has proclaimed April 15th – 19th as Severe Weather Awareness Week.
Since 2000, disasters have claimed the lives of 21 Minnesotans and caused more than $373 million in federally declared damages. McLeod County has been included in 5 of these declared disasters.
“It takes the whole community to prepare for, respond to and recover from tornadoes, straight-line winds, floods and heat waves,” said Kevin Mathews, Director of McLeod County Emergency Management.
“We hope all residents will take time during this week to re-assess their personal emergency plans and supplies.”
McLeod County partners with the Department of Public Safety – Division of Homeland Security and Emergency Management (HSEM) and the National Weather Service, as well as various state agencies to present comprehensive lifesaving information on its website. Each day of Severe Weather Awareness Week is devoted to a specific topic to help keep Minnesota ready.
Monday April 15th – Alerts and Warnings
Today’s technology is providing notification about approaching severe weather more available than ever. The HSEM website has information explaining the new Wireless Emergency Alerts that provide tornado warnings on cell phones.
Learn when and why your community sounds its outdoor warning sirens and what action to take when they are activated.
Review what action to take if you are driving during a tornado warning. Severe Weather Awareness Week is a great opportunity to talk with your children and elderly parents to ensure they know proper procedures.
Tuesday April 16th – Severe Weather, Lightning and Hail
Every thunderstorm produces lightning. Learn more about myths and facts surrounding lightning.
Wednesday April 17th – Floods
Spring flooding and flash flooding combine to produce some of the most dangerous and costly disasters in Minnesota. Review this important checklist to learn how you and your family can prepare for and respond to flooding.
Thursday April 18th – Statewide tornado drill day
Review the Tornado Safety Information
1:45 p.m. – The National Weather Service will issue a simulated tornado warning for Minnesota counties. Businesses, schools and local and state agencies are encouraged to use this warning as a time to review emergency procedures.
6:55 p.m. The National Weather Service will issue a second simulated tornado warning. The second drill is issued to allow families to practice their emergency plan at home.
Friday April 19th –Extreme Heat
Heat-related illness accounted for 35 deaths in Minnesota from 2000 – 2010. The Minnesota Department of Health says residents 65 and older are most vulnerable to heat-related hospitalizations. The MDH website includes an Extreme Heat Toolkit to help communities better prepare for the hot summer months.
Severe Weather Awareness Week is a time to join together as a community and share ideas to keep all Minnesotans ready. HSEM will be using the hashtag #SWAW. Please follow us on Twitter @MnDPS_HSEM
Homeland Security and Emergency Management helps Minnesotans prevent, prepare for, respond to and recover from emergencies and disasters.
HSEM staff members are helping Minnesota communities recover from seven federally declared disasters from 2010 through 2012.
In FY2012, HSEM awarded 402 Homeland Security grants totaling $80 million to 300 local governments and other entities to prepare them for all hazards including terrorism.
11 Chemical Assessment Teams
1 Emergency Response Team (hazardous materials)
5 Structural Collapse Teams making up MN Task Force 1
4 Bomb Squads
Statewide Decontamination Program
Fore more information, click here.