Get ready for sirens today
Sirens will sound today.
It won't be for an actual emergency - but residents may want to treat it like one.
It's Severe Weather Awareness Week and statewide tornado drills are a key part of it.
At 1:45 p.m. today, Thursday, the National Weather Service will issue a simulated tornado warning and outdoor warning sirens will be activated.
At 6:55 p.m., a second drill will take place in Douglas County and other participating counties for families and second-shift workers.
"Everyone should practice their safety plans during Severe Weather Awareness Week," said Douglas County Sheriff Troy Wolbersen. "There is no pattern to these things. A tornado can happen any day, without warning, and your preparation time is will spent."
According to the National Weather Service data, tornadoes have occurred in every Minnesota county at some time during the past 57 years.
Douglas County has experienced 16 tornadoes since 1950.
The Minnesota Department of Public Safety Division of Homeland Security and Emergency Management, along with the National Weather Service and the American Red Cross, sponsors Severe Weather Awareness Week annually to promote weather knowledge and planning.
A website at www.severeweather.state.mn.us contains tornado safety information, along with instructions on surviving thunderstorms, hail, straight-line winds, heat waves, floods and lightning.
Links to the National Weather Service and Red Cross provide fascinating weather facts and a variety of downloadable resources for families, teachers and children.
For local resources, go to the website for Douglas County at www.co.douglas.mn.us or contact Douglas County Emergency Management Director Troy Wolbersen.