Sirens will sound on Thursday for tornado drills

As a part of Severe Weather Awareness Week April 16-20, a statewide tornado drill will take place Thursday, April 19 at 1:45 p.m. A second drill will take place in the evening at 6:55 p.m. in most Minnesota counties.

“We’ll hear a grand total of four [sirens] that day,” said Forest Lake Fire Chief Gary Sigfrinius.

During the severe weather siren activation test at 1:45 p.m., he noted testing will include both of Washington County’s severe weather siren activation systems, the primary simulcast system and the backup King Stack activation system.

The Forest Lake drill will be repeated in the evening.

During the drills, the National Weather Service will send out simulated tornado warnings to emergency management officials across the state. Sirens will then sound across all counties and cities in Minnesota and Wisconsin at that time.

Be aware – the simulated messages and warnings will also alert all NOAA Weather Radios with simulated warnings.  This is an excellent opportunity for people to check the status of their radios and make sure they are ready.

These drills are conducted by the NWS in collaboration with local county and city emergency management officials to allow residents, businesses, schools and institutions to review and practice their severe weather plans and procedures.

Second Drill

History shows that while tornadoes can occur any time of day or night, they often happen in the late afternoon or early evening hours when people are at or near home.

The second drill offers individuals and families an additional opportunity to review their own emergency preparedness plans at home.