Severe Weather Awareness Week 

floodThe Department of Public Safety and the National Weather Service will be promoting general weather safety and emergency preparedness to Minnesotans during April 17 - 21 for Severe Weather Awareness Week.

In addition, statewide tornado drills will be held Thursday, April 20. Outdoor sirens and NOAA weather radios will sound. 

This is the perfect time to engage with your communities, schools, and local businesses to talk about their emergency plans and how they can prepare for the upcoming severe weather season. 

Each day of Severe Weather Awareness Week highlights an important weather safety topic. 

  •  Monday: Alerts and Warnings 
  • Tuesday: Severe Weather, Lightning and Hail 
  • Wednesday: Floods 
  • Thursday: Tornadoes (with statewide tornado drills) 
  • Friday: Extreme Heat

Promote Emergency Preparedness in Your Community

  • sirenHold preparedness seminars.
  • Consult with local businesses. 
  • Host a preparedness and health fair. 
  • Start a Community Emergency Response Team (CERT). 
  • Meet with homeowners associations. 
  • Post newsletter, social media and website articles with preparedness tips. 
  • Encourage others to know how to contact their county emergency manager. 

More information about these emergency preparedness steps is provided on the HSEM Weather Safety and National Weather Service websites.

General, all-hazards emergency preparedness best practices for businesses, communities, individuals and families can be found on this HSEM website.

My Emergency Supply Kit - For Home

This is a general list of suggested common items that you should keep handy at home in an emergency supply kit or nearby. Everyone may have slightly different needs but those on this list have been found through experience to be the most useful. Keep them in your preparedness bag or a bin or other easily accessible location. If you don’t keep a kit, know where they are on short notice. 

  • Drinking water – If clean water is not available for an extended period, try to keep about a gallon of drinkable water (bottled) per person per day on hand for drinking, cooking or basic hygiene. Juices or soft drinks are okay for drinking in limited quantities. Avoid alcohol. 
  • Extra non-perishable food – In an emergency, power may be out for an extended period. Try to keep a couple days’ worth of canned or packaged foods that don’t require refrigeration in your pantry. Soups, stews, canned pasta, etc. are good to have. Use it periodically to refresh your stock. 
  • Flashlight and spare batteries – Extended power outages are the most common emergency. Being able to see at night – especially in a damaged area - is critically important for safety. Also, you may need to get into unlit spaces for inspection or repairs. Make sure everyone in a household has at least one with extra batteries. 
  • Whistle - If you should ever become trapped in a damaged building or car or isolated in any way and need to attract help immediately, keep a small whistle on hand in your kit. 
  • Tool kit – Being able to make small repairs or clear damages during an emergency could be critical. Always keep a basic set of household tools close by including screwdrivers (flat and Phillips-head, claw hammer, adjustable wrench, saw, clamps, crowbar. 
  • First Aid kit - It’s always good to have a proper First Aid Kit on hand for any emergency or event. If you have one, make sure it gets refreshed with new supplies every year. 
  • N95 Dust Masks or Respirators – If a flood or other disaster should cause damage that leaves mold or other toxic dust in a home, a dust mask or respirator may help keep you breathing safely while you are recovering. (The N95 respirator masks are not approved for chemicals or gases in the air, such as carbon monoxide, and will not protect you from them. If you smell a strong chemical odor, you should leave the area right away.) 
  • Plastic garbage bags – A roll of large plastic garbage bags can serve a multitude of uses including gathering belongings, debris clean up, waterproof cover, poncho or even serve as an emergency toilet. 
  • Extra Shoes and work gloves - Many people go barefoot at home. Yet even minor damages can result in dangerous debris or broken glass both inside and outside the home. Keep an extra set of sturdy shoes or boots on hand. Work gloves are for use for moving broken or rough materials safely. Winter gloves may keep your hands warm but may tear easily when moving debris. 
  • Battery powered radio- During any kind of emergency, staying informed is essential. Power, cable (including internet) services may be down for an extended time. A portable, battery powered radio can keep you up to date and give weather forecasts.