Severe weather awareness helps prepare for safety

Mari Bostrom, Director
Isanti County Homeland Security & Emergency Management

Historically, early springtime is “flood season” in our state- but, in 1998 it was only late March when violent storms brought 13 tornadoes to St. Peter and Comfrey.

Late September is typically considered a “dry time”—yet on Sept. 22  last year, more than 10 inches of rain inundated southeastern Minnesota and flooded many communities.

If it wasn’t enough, between March and September of 2010, Minnesota experienced a record 113 tornadoes, (the most in the U.S.) with a total of 48 on a single day in June.

The lessons from these events is that Minnesota weather hazards can happen anytime and anywhere and the key is maintaining your personal safety and well-being is to be aware of the threats, be prepared, and know how to receive and respond to warnings.

April 11-15 is “Severe Weather Awareness Week” in Minnesota…a time to consider the possibilities of storms, lightening, hail, wind, floods and tornadoes, and be prepared to survive. We owe it to our school children, businesses, and families to learn how to safely prepare for the weather threats we face.

On Thursday, April 14, the National Weather Service will issue a statewide tornado drill at 1:45 p.m. and again at 6:55 p.m. I encourage businesses, schools, individuals, and families to participate in one of the drills so they are ready to move quickly when the real thing comes along. This is a great opportunity for businesses to test their emergency plans for their first and second shift employees.

There is not a county in Minnesota that has been spared a weather disaster. Let’s be sure our people stay safe.

The Minnesota Department of Public Safety provides pages of weather safety information, history, tips, and lessons—there is something for everyone. A link to Severe Weather Awareness Week can be found at the following Web sites:;; and  Links to the National Weather Service and the Red Cross provide fascinating weather facts and a variety of downloadable resources for families, teachers and children. Visit these sites and see what you can do to prevent destruction, injuries, and preventable deaths this year.

Isanti County Homeland Security & Emergency Management is also giving away two NOAA weather radios each day during Severe Weather Awareness Week to Isanti County residents. Please put your name in the drawing, located at Family Services and at the Isanti County Government Center Information Desk.

Also, check out our page on the Isanti County Web site,, for more information on Severe Weather and the 2011 Notification and Warning Project.