Crow Wing County is part of Severe Weather Awareness Week April 17-21
Statewide tornado drills are scheduled Thursday, April 20
BRAINERD — Severe Weather Awareness Week is this week, April 17-21.
Each year Crow Wing County collaborates with the National Weather Service, Minnesota Department of Public Safety and local government agencies to inform, remind and prepare residents about the potential hazards of the upcoming severe weather season.
Statewide tornado drills are scheduled at 1:45 and 6:45 p.m. Thursday, April 20. Outdoor sirens and NOAA weather radios will sound.
Schools and businesses are encouraged to conduct a tornado drill at 1:45 p.m. to practice an emergency tornado shelter plan. The 6:45 p.m. tornado drill allows individuals and families the opportunity to practice their own emergency plan at home.
Severe weather occurs most often between 3 and 8 p.m.
“Being prepared can reduce fear, anxiety and losses that come with emergency situations," Crow Wing County Emergency Management Director John Bowen said in a news release. "We are fortunate to live in an age where our technology can communicate with us almost anywhere and give us advanced warning of impending hazards or other information.
"This is the perfect time to engage communities, schools and businesses to talk about emergency plans and how they can best prepare for a weather emergency,” he said.
Bowen stresses to focus on understanding weather alerts and suggests having a weather radio, battery-operated radios and a communication plan. Take time to build or refresh an emergency preparedness kit.
Residents are encouraged to sign up for Crow Wing County ALERT. The ALERT system provides individuals and businesses with critical information quickly for situations like severe weather, evacuations, missing people and unexpected road closures.
This provides a means for county, city and township officials to notify people by phone, email, SMS TXT and/or TTY/TDD, as elected by each person.
A free SKYWARN weather spotter class will be held from 6-8 p.m. Tuesday April 18, in meeting rooms 1 and 2 in the lower level of the Crow Wing County Land Services Building at 322 Laurel St. in Brainerd.
No registration is required.
The Crow Wing County Sheriff’s Office, Division of Emergency Management and the National Weather Service in Duluth will host the class. The class will train and recruit volunteer weather spotters across the region. Learn storm spotting from the meteorologists who issue warnings in the community.
SKYWARN is part of the National Weather Service’s warning program to establish a network of volunteers trained in the detection and reporting of life-threatening storms.
For more information, contact Emergency Management at 218-829-4749 or check out severe-weather-awareness-week-preparedness.
More resources available at weather.gov or ready.gov.