Statewide Tornado Drill

On Wednesday April 19 at 1 p.m., 9&10 News will participate in a statewide Tornado Drill. This is only a test and will last for about one minute.

If there is a threat of actual severe weather on April 19, the test will be postponed until April 20, 2017. If there is a threat of severe weather on April 20 the test will be canceled.

This Tornado Drill is an opportunity for you and your family to prepare for the upcoming tornado season and practice your emergency plan.

Every year more than 1,000 tornadoes strike the United States including an average of 15 in Michigan. Last year, 16 were reported across the state with a record 6 just for the Upper Peninsula. 

Since 1950, 1,025 tornadoes have been reported in Michigan resulting in substantial loss of life and property.

While tornadoes can happen any time of the year, they are more common to Northern Michigan during the Late Spring and Summer Months.

The average lead time for tornadoes to develop is 10-15 minutes, which means you need to be able to react quickly if a Tornado Warning is issued for your area. Earlier this month, an EF1 tornado with winds of 90 mph developed SE of Grand Rapids in just a few minutes. It was more than 200 yards wide and was on the ground for more than 5 miles. Three barns and dozens of large trees were damaged. A metal section of one of the barns was thrown for more than a half mile! 

This means you need to know in advance where you should go, if a tornado were to strike. The best place is a low room in a house such as a basement away from windows or doors. If you don’t have a basement, find an interior hallway away from windows, doors and outside walls. Go under something sturdy, such as a workbench or stairwell. Protect your head with a pillow, blanket or mattress.

Make sure everyone in your house or building knows what to do if a Tornado Warning is issued. 

In addition, make a 3 day emergency supply kit with essential items such as a supply of food and water, a flashlight, NOAA radio and important family documents. 

For more information go to: http://michigan.gov/miready  or https://www.ready.gov/tornadoes

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