As part of this Severe Weather Awareness Week, there will be a (Michigan) Statewide Tornado Drill today (Wed.) at 1 pm. We will not be sounding the tornado sirens today in Kent and Ottawa Counties. Tornado sirens are tested the first Friday of each month from April through October at noon. We don’t do the test if there are any storms in the area.

Here’s a link to tornado safety rules.

Before the storm – make a plan – what would you do if severe weather was approaching. You may not be home. You may be shopping or driving in your car. Tornado warnings come on your phone now, but it’s good to have a NOAA weather radio, which can be programmed to alarm for the county or counties that you want to include.

On severe weather days, try not to park under trees. Turn your trampoline upside down. They are easily blown around in a severe thunderstorm wind. Secure your garbage bin – pick up toys in the yard – you might want to take down wind chimes and bird feeders.

During the storm – Go to the lowest floor. If you have a basement, that’s usually the safest place. Stay away from windows, especially those on the south and west sides. Wear shoes that will protect your feet if there is broken glass or debris. Bicycle or motorcycle helmets can provide a little extra protection.

After the storm – Sometimes there are more injuries after a storm than during a storm. Injuries occur from falls and stepping on debris like nails. There may be leaking gas that could result in an explosion. Fires can ignite. After a tornado, pets and livestock may be wandering around. Fences may have been knocked down, allowing animals to “escape”. Check on neighbors to make sure they are all right.

If you have time and are safe, we’d appreciate your pictures and videos at ReportIt at

Remember “stuff” can be replaced…you can’t…so stay safe.