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Severe Weather Awareness Week is this week, April 17-21

Statewide tornado drill to test outdoor sirens April 20

​Are you ready for severe weather? Each year Homeland Security and Emergency Management, in collaboration with the National Weather Service, sponsors Severe Weather Awareness Week in Minnesota.
The week is designed to remind and educate the public about the seasonal threats from severe weather and how to avoid them. 
It's also a good time to make and practice emergency plans and check emergency preparedness kits.   
The most important events during Severe Weather Awareness Week are the two annual statewide tornado drills. 
In Minnesota the 2023​ statewide tornado drills are scheduled for Thursday, April 20​​. Outdoor warning sirens will sound in a simulated tornado warning.
The first drill is intended for institutions and businesses. The evening drill is intended for second shift workers and families.
Minnesota experiences an average of 29​ tornadoes per year.
In 2021 Minnesota recorded 64 tornadoes, including 22 on Dec. 15 alone. They were the latest reported tornadoes on record. A record was set in 2010 with 113 tornadoes touching down across the state.
Understanding this threat and knowing what to do when a tornado is approaching can save lives. 
Take advantage of Severe Weather Awareness Week to review your own and your family's emergency procedures and prepare for weather-related hazards.  
The week observes different aspects of weather awareness.
For example, severe thunderstorms produce large hail or winds of at least 58 mph. Some wind gusts can exceed 100 mph and produce tornado-like damage. That’s why many communities sound outdoor sirens for damaging straight-line winds. 
In terms of floods, nearly 200 lives are lost nationally to flooding each year, and 300,000 people are forced from their homes due to property damage in excess of $2 billion. In 2019 six out of the nine state and federally declared disasters in Minnesota involved some sort of flooding. 
About 75 percent of flash-flood deaths occur at night. Half of the victims die in automobiles or other vehicles. Many deaths occur when people drive around road barricades that clearly indicate that the road is washed out ahead. 
Severe Weather Awareness Week also focuses on heat. According to the Department of Health, from 2000 to 2016 there were 54 deaths directly attributable to extreme heat in Minnesota. 
On July 19, 2011, an all-time heat index record was set in Minnesota with air temperatures at 93 degrees and the heat index reaching 130 degrees in Moorhead. 
The National Weather Service places high priority on alerting the public to heat wave hazards.
More information about Severe Weather Awareness Week is at

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