No need to panic - You're going to hear tornado sirens across Minnesota and Wisconsin twice this week, but this is all part of a planned drill. While there is no imminent danger, there are some things you should do during these drill events.

Officials in both Minnesota and Wisconsin are coordinating on their annual springtime Severe Weather Awareness Week, which includes two tests of the warning systems used during a severe weather event like a tornado.

This year's test in both the Badger State and the Land of 10,000 Lakes is scheduled for two different times on Thursday, April 11, 2024. The first time you'll hear tornado sirens as well as see & hear tests of other warning systems will be at 1:45 pm on Thursday. The second will be at 6:45 pm on Thursday.

The first thing to know is simply that these alerts are a coordinated drill, and you shouldn't be worried. Second, this is a good time to consider your plan in the event of severe weather, like a tornado.

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During the afternoon drill, ensuring you know the plan while at work or school - including where to go in order to take shelter - is a good thing to practice, or at least have a plan for. Similarly, the evening drill is a good time to think about a home plan for shelter. Practicing going to your shelter space with your kids and verifying you have a supply kid can be a good way to use the

The National Weather Service office in Duluth shared some tips via social media, explaining what you should do. Key tips include moving quickly to the basement, or an interior room away from windows if a basement isn't an option. You should put shoes on, bring your phone with you, consider bringing a battery-operated radio or weather radio if you have one, and cover your head while sheltering during the tornado.

The CDC offers the top of adding an additional layer of shelter by getting under something sturdy like a heavy table work workbench or covering yourself with a blanket, sleeping bag, or mattress.

There are some other great tips for what to do if you are not in a sturdy home, are outdoors, or in a vehicle from the CDC here. As we get into storm season, remember to be alert, safe, and always have a plan that everyone in your family knows.

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