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Practice Your Tornado Drills during Severe Weather Awareness Week

By Mark Askelson markkrjb@loretel.net (4/10/19)

Grand Forks, ND -- Severe Weather Awareness Week continues across the state of Minnesota with a focus on tornadoes today. The statewide Tornado drill scheduled for 1:45pm and 6:45pm has been cancelled however, due to severe winter weather, but the National Weather Service still encourages families, businesses, and schools to practice what to do in case a Tornado hits. Greg Gust with the National Weather Service offers some advice.

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Vehicles are extremely dangerous in a tornado. If the tornado is visible, far away, and the traffic is light, you may be able to drive away from its path by moving at right angles to the tornado. Otherwise, park the car as quickly and safely as possible - - out of the traffic lanes. Get out and seek shelter in a sturdy building. If in the open country, run to low ground away from any cars (which may roll over on you). Lie flat and face-down, protecting the back of your head with your arms. Avoid seeking shelter under bridges, which can accelerate the wind while offering little protection against flying debris.

According to the National Weather Service, Minnesota experiences an average of 40 tornadoes per year. A record was set in 2010 with 104 tornadoes across the state.

Understanding this threat and knowing what to do when a tornado is approaching can save lives. Take advantage of Severe Weather Awareness Week to review your own and your family's emergency procedures and prepare for weather-related hazards.