While state agencies and volunteer organizations continue focusing on Minnesota’s COVID-19 response, emergency management officials are reminding people to take time this week to plan and prepare for severe weather.

“I know our collective attention is focused squarely on fighting the virus, but we live in Minnesota where the weather always has a vote and we need to listen to that,” said Joe Kelly, director of the Department of Public Safety’s Homeland Security and Emergency management division.

This Thursday (April 16) is Tornado Drill Day in Minnesota, a part of severe weather awareness week.

Kelly urged Minnesotans to review and talk about their emergency plans.

“In this COVID-19 era, make sure you keep social distancing if you practice your sheltering plan on tornado drill day,” Kelly said.

Mock tornado drills are scheduled for 1:45 and 6:45 p.m. April 16.

Outdoor warning sirens will sound in several Minnesota counties for both mock drills. There will be no weather radio alerts and Emergency Alert System (EAS) messages will not appear on TV.

Learn more about the April 16 tornado drills and find other severe weather preparation information of the Minnesota Department of Public Safety (DPS) Web site at dps.mn.gov.

– Image courtesy of the DPS Web site