News: County will activate sirens during Severe Weather Awareness Week

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Media contact: Carolyn Marinan, Communications, 612-348-5969

County will activate sirens during Severe Weather Awareness Week

As part of a statewide tornado drill, the county will activate outdoor warning sirens at 1:45 p.m. and 6:45 p.m. on April 12. 

The drills are part of Minnesota Severe Weather Awareness Week, April 9 – 13. This week serves as a reminder for individuals, families, places of business and schools to create, update and practice emergency plans.

Sirens alert people who are outdoors of severe weather warnings and other situations when they should take shelter. People who are indoors may not hear them and should use another means to monitor the weather, such as a NOAA weather radio.

Weather-related sirens sound when the National Weather Service has issued a tornado warning and/or if there are reports of sustained straight-line winds in excess of 70 miles per hour. While the county activates sirens, the cities within Hennepin County purchase and maintain the equipment.

In Minnesota, more than half of federally declared disasters are due to severe weather. While severe weather can happen during any month of the year, it most commonly occurs in Hennepin County between May – July. During Severe Weather Awareness Week and into the 2018 severe weather season, residents should take time to prepare for the worst. 

Siren safety tips

  • Obey the sirens. Sirens still mean people should seek shelter and tune to local weather information on radio, television or a NOAA Weather Radio. Unless it’s a first Wednesday of the month drill, the warning is real. 
  • Be weather aware. Know the weather forecast when you start the day. Keep track of the weather as you continue with your day. 
  • Be alert and know where to shelter. If conditions change quickly or you see violent/threatening conditions, seek shelter and tune to local media. Take time today to learn and practice the emergency procedures at your workplace or school.
  • Get a personal warning. Sirens alert people who are outdoors. Inside your home, you may not hear them. Use a NOAA weather radio or a severe weather smartphone app and stay tuned to local media.   

Learn more about Severe Weather Awareness Week.

Learn more about Hennepin County Emergency Management.

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