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The original item was published from 3/22/2023 7:11:00 AM to 3/22/2023 7:17:20 AM.

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Emergency Management & Homeland Security

Posted on: March 22, 2023

[ARCHIVED] Severe Weather Awareness Week

It's Severe Weather Season - Sky with lightning

Severe Weather Awareness Week is April 17-21, 2023

Are you ready for severe weather? Each year, Homeland Security and Emergency Management (HSEM) in collaboration with the National Weather Service sponsors Severe Weather Awareness Week in Minnesota. This week is designed to refresh, remind and educate everyone about the seasonal threats from severe weather and how to avoid them. It's also a great time to make and practice your emergency plan and build or refresh your emergency preparedness kit. The campaign kicks off in early April with Severe Weather Awareness Week, and continues through the season.

Statewide Tornado Drills

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 is at 1:45 p.m. and is intended for schools and businesses. 
  • The evening drill is at 6:45 p.m. and is intended for second shift workers and families.

How to Participate

If you are interested in some ideas on how you, your family, business, or your community can participate in Severe Weather Awareness Week, check out some ideas for your family, neighborhood and community to participate (PDF), and some ideas for Business Emergency Preparedness (PDF).

Educators, leaders or communicators may want to use this Severe Weather Awareness Week PowerPoint Presentation (PDF) to help deliver this information.

Why Severe Weather Awareness Week?

According to the Minnesota Department of Natural Resources, Minnesota experiences an average of 29 tornadoes per year. In 2021, Minnesota recorded 64 tornadoes, including 22 on December 15th alone, which were the latest reported tornadoes on records. 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.

Each day of the week focuses on a different weather safety topic:

Check each page link above for specific information about these topics, including factsheets, checklists, data and other resources.

Severe Weather Awareness Week Fact Sheet (PDF)
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