State Police Encourage Michiganders to Prepare Before Severe Weather Strikes this Spring and Summer; Michigan's Severe Weather Awareness Week is April 10-16

Contact: Ms. Wendy Galbreath, MSP/EMHSD, 517-449-8956

April 7, 2016

With Gov. Rick Snyder proclaiming April 10-16 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 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 Ionia County and severe thunderstorms in Grand Traverse and Leelanau counties, resulting in disaster declarations due to severe and widespread damage. 

Special Ceremony on April 12
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 12, in the glass floor rotunda of the Michigan State Capitol. Poster entries were received from fourth and fifth graders statewide. 

Statewide Tornado Drill on April 13
A voluntary statewide tornado drill is scheduled to occur at 1:30 p.m. EDT on Wednesday, April 13. Businesses, organizations, 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.

In the event of severe weather on April 13, the tornado drill will be rescheduled for 1:30 p.m. EDT on Wednesday, April 14.

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

For more information about what to do before, during and after an emergency or disaster, go to 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.