Residents can feel a change in seasons and as the weather changes, the risks associated with that weather increases.  Minnesota’s Severe Weather Awareness Week is April 17-21, 2017.  The week is a reminder that while you may be preparing for sunshine and campfires, you should also be preparing for lightning, floods, tornadoes and other severe weather events.

The Severe Weather Awareness Week campaign helps teach citizens about weather hazards and provides resources to minimize the risks associated with severe weather.  The Scott County Sheriff’s Office, through its Emergency Management division, plans to inform citizens on the need to prepare for severe weather events.

A key part of Severe Weather Awareness Week is the statewide tornado drill, which will occur Thursday, April 20, at 1:45pm and 6:45 p.m.  The outdoor warning sirens will sound at both of these times in hopes of giving citizens the opportunity to plan for their response at both home and in the workplace.  According to the National Weather Service, Minnesota experiences an average of 40 tornadoes per year.  In 2010, Minnesota led the nation in tornadoes with a total of 104.  Understanding this threat and knowing what to do when a tornado is approaching can save lives and minimize injuries.

Each day of Severe Weather Awareness Week focuses on a different safety topic:

  • Monday: Alerts and Warnings
  • Tuesday: Severe Weather, Lightning and Hail
  • Wednesday: Floods
  • Thursday: Tornadoes (with statewide tornado drills)
  • Friday: Extreme Heat

“A common theme among disaster survivors is how they wish they would have been better prepared,” said Scott County Emergency Management and Communications Director Scott Haas.  “Severe Weather Awareness Week is the perfect time to restock emergency supplies and practice getting family members including pets into their shelter area.  A little time preparing today can pay huge dividends in a disaster situation and may save the life of a loved one.”

Citizens and businesses are strongly encouraged to take part in the statewide tornado drill on April 20 to ensure they know how to respond to an actual severe weather event.

Throughout Severe Weather Awareness Week, citizens can get safety and preparedness tips through the Scott County Sheriff’s Office Facebook and Twitter pages.