State Police Encourage Michiganders to Prepare Before Severe Weather Strikes; Severe Weather Awareness Week is April 16-22

Contact: Dale R. George, MSP/EMHSD Public Information Officer, 517-284-3962

April 12, 2017

Gov. Rick Snyder has proclaimed April 16-22 as Severe Weather Awareness Week and the Michigan State Police, Emergency Management and Homeland Security Division (MSP/EMHSD) is encouraging Michigan residents to prepare before severe weather strikes this spring and summer.

“Severe Weather Awareness Week is the time of year to learn what to do before, during and after severe weather occurs,” said Capt. Chris A. Kelenske, Deputy State Director of Emergency Management and Homeland Security and commander of the MSP/EMHSD. “That includes flooding, thunderstorms and tornadoes. By taking the initiative and learning about possible hazards, you and your family will be better prepared when an emergency or disaster happens.”

Spring and summer frequently bring fast-changing weather conditions that increase the potential for severe weather. Steps can be taken to prepare before severe weather strikes to minimize damage and ensure safe evacuation or shelter, such as understanding severe weather warnings and terms, preparing an emergency supply kit, making an emergency plan, and creating an emergency contact list.

Last year, the state of Michigan experienced a tornado in Gogebic County and severe thunderstorms in Marquette, resulting in disaster declarations due to severe and widespread damage.

Special Ceremony on April 18
To recognize Severe Weather Awareness Week and honor the winners of this year’s Severe Weather Awareness Poster and Video Contest, the MSP/EMHSD and other members of the Michigan Committee for Severe Weather Awareness (MCSWA) will hold a special ceremony at 10 a.m. on Tuesday, April 18, at the Michigan State Capitol. Poster and video entries were submitted by elementary school students statewide.

Statewide Tornado Drill on April 19
A voluntary statewide tornado drill is scheduled to occur at 1 p.m. EDT on Wednesday, April 19. Businesses, organizations, families, and individuals are encouraged to engage in the statewide preparedness activity, but are not required to do so. Nearly all state of Michigan facilities will participate.
In the event of severe weather on April 19, the tornado drill will be rescheduled for 1 p.m. EDT on Wednesday, April 20.

About Severe Weather Awareness Week
Severe Weather Awareness Week is sponsored by the MSP/EMHSD and MCSWA to educate the public about the dangers of tornadoes and other severe weather events, including the precautions that can be taken to save lives and protect families. The MCSWA was formed in 1991 to encourage Michigan residents to be prepared in the event of severe weather. To learn more about the committee, go to www.mcswa.com.

For more information about what to do before, during and after an emergency or disaster, go to www.michigan.gov/miready or follow the MSP/EMHSD on Twitter at @MichEMHS. Be a part of the severe weather awareness conversation by using the hashtags #miseverewxweek and #mitornadoready.