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Statewide tornado drill planned for Wednesday

Storm siren
Eastern Michigan University
At 1 p.m. Wednesday (March 22), sirens will blare in communities across the state as officials conduct a statewide tornado drill.

The arrival of spring carries the potential for severe storms. On Wednesday, Michigan will conduct its annual statewide tornado drill.   

At 1 p.m. Wednesday (March 22), sirens will blare in communities across the state. The drill serves as a test run to prepare for the unpredictability of tornadoes.

Michigan witnesses on average about 15 tornadoes a year. While that number is much lower than in many states, officials say conducting the drill helps the state be ready to respond.

Michigan State Police public information officer Lauren Thompson said it’s important for residents to know what to do during a storm.

“We hope it reminds everybody that they should have a plan, whether at work or at home and with their children,” Thompson said. “Severe weather and tornadoes do happen here in Michigan, and the more we can do to be prepared, the better.”

“There’s no way to look ahead and say, ‘this looks like it will be an unusually active severe weather season,’” she added. “We just know that we’re entering into the spring and early summer; there’s the potential for that threat. So, we should all be prepared and ready in the event that it happens.”

Thompson said there should be a safe place in the home to gather during a tornado, preferably in a basement. She said an emergency preparedness kit should include food, water and a weather radio.

The drill is being conducted as part of Michigan Severe Weather Awareness Week.

Kevin Lavery served as a general assignment reporter and occasional local host for Morning Edition and All Things Considered before retiring in 2023.
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