State prepping for severe weather

Published 10:20 am Monday, April 13, 2015

Get ready for the season with a little severe weather preparation this week.

April 13-17 marks Severe Weather Awareness Week, which means the Minnesota Department of Public Safety will partner with local emergency management personnel to practice severe weather scenarios. At the same time, local and state officials are urging the public to be prepared for severe weather.

“If severe weather impacts your community, the National Weather Service and local officials will help you determine whether to stay or go, but it’s up to individuals to be ready for either situation,” Joe Kelly, director of the Minnesota Department of Public Safety’s division of Homeland Security and Emergency Management, said in a press release.

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If the power goes out, or a person is trapped in their damaged home, they will need — at the very least— water and food, a flashlight, and a whistle to alert authorities. If they need to leave immediately, experts recommend they have money, identification, a cell phone and charger, bottled water and snacks.

To reduce the risk of injury or death, families and individuals can use Severe Weather Awareness Week as an opportunity to make an emergency plan. Based on where they live, they need to determine:

•The safest location in their home, dorm, apartment, or living facility during a tornado.

•Where they would meet if they are separated during a flash flood or tornado that made it impossible to return home.

•Where they would go if authorities recommended they evacuate.

•If they are single, identify in advance the appropriate contact in case of injury.

•How changes in the family — aging parents, babies, new pets — will impact their preparedness.

DPS/HSEM partners with local emergency management to promote Severe Weather Awareness Week. Each day focuses on one, important topic.

•Monday — Alerts and Warnings

•Tuesday — Severe Weather, Lightning and Hail

•Wednesday — Floods

•Thursday — Tornadoes (with statewide tornado drills at 1:45 p.m. and 6:55 p.m.)

•Friday — Extreme Heat