State Police encourage Michiganders to prepare before severe weather strikes this spring and summer; Michigan's Severe Weather Awareness Week is April 12-18

Contact: Ron Leix, MSP/EMHSD Public Information Officer, 517-336-6464
Agency: State Police

April 9, 2015

LANSING. With Gov. Rick Snyder proclaiming April 12-18 as Severe Weather Awareness Week, the Michigan State Police, Emergency Management and Homeland Security Division (MSP/EMHSD) is encouraging Michiganders 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 hazards,” 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 your 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.

On Aug. 11, 2014, Southeast Michigan experienced flash flooding after four to six inches of rain fell in a three-to-four-hour period. The flooding affected thousands of homes and businesses, vehicles and roads and caused millions of dollars in damages in Macomb, Oakland and Wayne counties.

Upon Snyder’s request, President Barack Obama declared a major disaster declaration due to the torrential rain and flooding. As of January 2015, more than $268 million in state and federal disaster assistance has been approved, allowing Southeast Michigan residents and businesses to begin to recover and rebuild after the incident.

Special Ceremony on April 14
To recognize Severe Weather Awareness Week and honor the winners of this year’s Severe Weather Awareness Poster 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. EDT on Tuesday, April 14, in the glass floor rotunda of the Michigan State Capitol. More than 300 poster entries were received from fourth and fifth graders statewide.

Poster Contest Winners

Place

Name

Grade

Hometown

School

1

Olivia Schuck

4

Canton

Dodson Elementary (Canton)

2

Joey Sosnowski

4

South Lyon

Our Lady of Sorrows School (Farmington)

3

Alyssa Remy

5

Traverse City

Traverse Heights Elementary (Traverse City)

4

Danielle O’Neill

5

Farmington Hills

Our Lady of Sorrows School (Farmington)

Statewide Tornado Drill on April 16
A voluntary statewide tornado drill is scheduled to occur at 2 p.m. EDT on Thursday, April 16. Businesses, organizations, schools, families and individuals are encouraged to participate in the statewide preparedness activity, but are not required to do so. Nearly all state of Michigan facilities will be participating.

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/beprepared 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.

The Michigan State Police, Emergency Management and Homeland Security Division is responsible for coordinating state and federal resources to assist local government in response and relief activities in the event of an emergency or disaster, as well as coordinating homeland security initiatives and various federal grants.