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Statewide Tornado Drill Set For April 19

With the onset of spring, Sheriff Steve Rand and the Jackson County Emergency Management Division are increasing awareness by asking residents to prepare for severe weather.

All businesses, organizations, families and individuals are encouraged to participate in the voluntary statewide tornado siren and drill at 1:00 p.m. on Wednesday, April 19, 2017.

Jackson County residents who wish to receive free emergency alerts and notifications are encouraged to sign up for CodeRED. You may register online at: https://www.co.jackson.mi.us/ or http://cityofjackson.org/ , or call 517-768-7946.

The following information will help you prepare and keep you safe:

Preparing for a tornado or thunderstorm:

  • Plan ahead. Be sure everyone in your household knows where to go and what to do in case of a tornado or thunderstorm warning. Keep family pets in mind while preparing.
  • Know the safest location for shelter in your home, workplace, and school. Load-bearing walls near the center of the basement or lowest level generally provide the greatest protection.
  • Have emergency supplies on hand, including a battery- operated NOAA Weather Radio, flashlight, fresh batteries, first- aid kit, water, and cell phone.
  • Keep a three-day supply of food on hand. Keep some food in your supply kit that doesn’t require refrigeration.
  • Sign up to receive text or e-mail alerts from local media or the American Red Cross Tornado App
  • What to do when a thunderstorm approaches your area:
  • Stay tuned to your weather radio or local news station for the latest updates from the National Weather Service or go to the National Weather Service Web site, www.weather.gov.
  • Seek safe shelter when you first hear thunder or when you see dark threatening clouds developing overhead or see lightning. Lightning can strike more than 10 miles away from any rainfall.
  • If you are boating or swimming, get to land and seek shelter immediately.
  • Telephone lines and metal pipes can conduct electricity. Any item plugged into an electrical outlet may cause a hazard during a tornado or thunderstorm. Do not use corded (plug-in) telephones except in an emergency.

Know the Difference

Tornado Watch means conditions exist for a tornado to develop

Tornado Warning means that a tornado has been sighted or indicated by weather radar

What to do when a tornado warning is issued for your area:

  • Quickly move to shelter in the basement or lowest floor of a permanent structure.
  • In homes and small buildings, go to the basement and get under something sturdy, like a workbench or stairwell. If a basement is not available, go to an interior part of the home on the lowest level. A good rule of thumb is to put as many walls between you and the tornado as possible.
  • In schools, hospitals, and public places, move to the designated shelter areas. Interior hallways on the lowest floors are generally best.
  • Stay away from windows, doors, and outside walls. Broken glass and wind-blown projectiles cause more injuries and deaths than collapsed buildings. Protect your head with a pillow, blanket, or mattress.
  • If you are caught outdoors, a sturdy shelter is the only safe location in a tornado.
  • If you are boating or swimming, get to land and seek shelter immediately.

After a tornado or thunderstorm:

  • Watch out for fallen power lines. Stay out of damaged buildings until you are sure they are safe and will not collapse. Secure your property from further damage or theft.
  • Use only chlorinated or bottled supplies of drinking water or make sure drinking water advisories are not in place for municipal water systems.

Additional preparedness information can be found in the 2017 Severe Weather Awareness Packet: http://www.michigan.gov/documents/msp/SWApacket_554981_7.pdf

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