Michigan's statewide tornado drill: What to know Wednesday

Michigan's statewide tornado drill is Wednesday afternoon.

Tornado sirens and alerts on National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration Weather Radios, TV, and radio stations will sound at 1 p.m. 

The drill is held every year during Severe Weather Week to encourage people to prepare for disasters and review their emergency plans before summer weather.

"We are approaching the anniversary of the deadly EF3 tornado that devastated the city of Gaylord last year," said Capt. Kevin Sweeney, deputy state director of Emergency Management and commander of the MSP/EMHSD. "It serves as an important reminder to take steps now to prepare and create a plan to protect your home, your family, and your pets."

Gaylord after the May 20, 2022, tornado.(Photo: MSP)

People are encouraged to use Wednesday to get ready ahead of potential severe weather. Tornados develop in an average of 10–15 minutes, so being ready before severe weather arrives is essential.

Tips for preparing:

  • Know the difference: Tornado Watch means conditions exist for a tornado to develop; Tornado Warning means a tornado has been sighted or indicated by weather radar.
  • Know the signs of an approaching tornado: dark, often greenish sky; large hail; a large, dark low-lying cloud; and loud roar, like a freight train.
  • Develop an emergency preparedness kit with essential items such as a three-day supply of water and food, a NOAA Weather Radio, important family documents and items that satisfy unique family needs.
  • Conduct regular tornado drills. Make sure each household member knows where to go and what to do in the event of a tornado.Stay tuned to commercial radio or television broadcasts for news on changing weather conditions or approaching storms.