Minnesota Homeland Security Emergency Management Department brings us information surrounding severe weather season during this Severe Weather Awareness Week.

According to the Minnesota Department of Natural Resources, Minnesota experiences an average of 29​ tornadoes per year. In 2021, Minnesota recorded 64 tornadoes, including 22 on December 15 alone, which were the latest reported tornadoes on record.
A record was set in 2010 with 113 tornadoes touching down 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.
Each day of the week focuses on a different weather safety topic:

Today we tackle Alerts and Warnings.

Tuesday: Severe Weather, Lightning, Hail and Straight Line Winds

Wednesday: Floods

Thursday:  Tornadoes with Tornado Drill Day.  Drills will be held with sirens set off in the afternoon and evening so people can practive what to do when the sirens are for real.  All communities in Rice County are participating in both drills according to Hauer-Schmitz.

Friday:  Extreme Heat

During last week's local Severe Weather Awareness Show on KDHL with local weather observers Jennifer Hauer-Schmitz, John Rowan and Dustin Dienst we learned Schmitz most asked question is always about the difference between a watch and a warning.

Schmitz is Rice County Emergency Management Director.  She says since starting in her position approximately 15 years ago the technology has made it possible for us to receive warnings and other information almost instantly on our mobile devices.

Dienst, Faribault City Emergency Management Director emphasized officials would like everyone in Faribault to sign up for the Everbridge Emergency Notification System.

Rice County and Steele County also have the Everbridge system while Goodhue County and others across the nationa have the Code Red product.

All provide people with the notifications they desire in the format they request but also require you to sign up to have them sent to your favorite mobile device or all your mobile devices.

The National Weather Service issues Severe Weather Advisories, Watches and Warnings.

An Advisory is just what it says a National Weather Service related piece of information advising the public that we could have elevated risk of experiencing severe weather during an outlined time frame.

It could be and advisory about severe thunderstorms containing damaging hail or straight line winds, frequent dangerous lightning or one inch or more an hour rainfall.

A Watch means conditions are favorable for whatever the watch states.  It could be a Flood Watch, Severe Thunderstorm Watch or Tornado Watch.

A Warning means the indicated severe weather ( flood, thunderstorm, tormado) has been experienced and observed heading in a certain direction or has been detected by radar indicating it is heading in a certain direction.

If you have not signed up for the emergency notification system in your community this is a good time to do so.  That way when severe weather strikes then you will receive the notification as soon as the sirens are set off.

When the sirens are set off the first thing to do is tune to KDHL or POWER 96 Radio and listening to KDHL at 97.9 FM if possible where you are frees you of the crackling and static associated with AM radio.

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