MN Severe Weather Awareness Week

This week, Apr 21-25, is Minnesota Severe Weather Awareness Week. The week is organised by the MN Department of Public Safety to “inform and refresh knowledge about severe weather threats,” as well as help people prepare for the upcoming storm season. At BHS, a tornado drill is planned for Thursday as part of the statewide tornado drill.

“Primarily, our focus for Severe Weather Awareness Week will be on Thursday, where we’ll take part in a state-level drill at 1:45 PM, where schools throughout the state participate in a tornado drill practice,” said Principal Mark Mischke. “[This is] to heighten the awareness of the season coming up with severe weather and also just to continue in line with our general practice of drills and procedures that we have in our building.”

Tornado sirens will sound as a part of this drill and a simulated tornado warning will go out. A second drill is also planned to occur in the evening at 6:55 PM, in which many are likely to be at home and hear the sirens and warning. These drills are meant to allow families, businesses, schools, and individuals to prepare for severe weather and come up with a plan in case of a dangerous weather event.

According to the Department of Public Safety and the National Weather Service, “Minnesota experiences an average of 40 tornadoes per year. In 2012, 37 twisters touched down. A record was set in 2010 with 104 tornadoes across the state. Understanding this threat and knowing what to do when a tornado is approaching can save lives.”

More information about the week and weather safety threats can be found at https://dps.mn.gov/divisions/hsem/weather-awareness-preparedness/Pages/default.aspx.

UPDATE (Thurs 7:55): With the rain and possibility of thunderstorms this afternoon, the statewide drills may be postponed or cancel if it is determined that doing the drills and sounding the sirens would trigger false alarm with the conditions. Mischke states that the school’s drill will go on as scheduled if that were to occur.

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Jon Thielen

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