Severe Weather Awareness Week April 16-20

For more than 25 years, the state of Minnesota has conducted a Severe Weather Awareness Week in partnership with the National Weather Service and local governments. A statewide tornado drill is part of that event and will take place on Thursday, April 19 at 1:45 p.m. and 6:55 p.m.

The Severe Weather Awareness Week campaign helps teach Minnesotans about weather hazards and provides resources to minimize the risks associated with severe weather. Everyone is encouraged to make a plan, build an emergency kit and practice drills.

Check out the table in the Main Lobby of the Isanti County Government Center  in Cambridge during this week, April 16-20, for more emergency preparedness information.

• Monday,  April 16 – Severe Storms, Lightning and Winds:

Thunderstorms, hail, straight line winds cause extensive damage in Minnesota every year. The annual toll from hail alone is about $1 billion nationally.

Lightning kills and injures more people than any other summer weather threat. Forty-seven lightning fires took place in homes and business structures in 2007, resulting in damages of about $2.3 million.

• Tuesday,  April 17 – Weather Alerts and Warnings:

Severe weather warnings are issued to the public by the National Weather Service. Topics include the Emergency Alert System (EAS) and NOAA all-hazards weather radio.

Personal weather alerts – The National Weather Service and many internet sites and local media outlets offer alerting services that can provide email, RSS feeds or text messages to cell phones, computers or other devices.

• Wednesday, April 18  – Floods, Flash Floods:

In 1997, floods on the Red River and the Minnesota River affected 58 Minnesota counties, resulting in the largest Presidential disaster declaration in state history. The cost of response and recovery was estimated at $545 million.

• Thursday, April 19 – Tornado Drill Day:

Tornado Drill Day is Thursday April 19, at 1:45 p.m. and 6:55 p.m. Minnesota conducts two tornado drills on Thursday April 19, 2012. The first drill is statewide at 1:45 p.m. to allow schools, business, hospitals and other organizations to practice their emergency plans. The 2nd drill is at 6:55 p.m. to allow families and 2nd shift workers to also practice their plans

• Friday, April 20 – Heat Waves: 

Heat-related fatalities outpace deaths in several other weather categories. Based on a national average from 1992-2001, excessive heat claimed 219 lives each year. By contrast, floods killed 88, tornadoes 57, lightning 52 and hurricanes 15.