Severe Weather Awareness week is April 17-21, 2017.

Tornado Drills
Two statewide tornado drills will happen on Thursday, April 20 at 1:45 p.m. and 6:55 p.m.  Everyone is encourages to practice their tornado drills at these times.

Some Cottage Grove residents may also hear a siren sound at 1 p.m. on Thursday. This is the weekly siren activation at Western Refining in St. Paul Park and is not part of the statewide tornado drill.

In Washington County, sirens are sounded

  • When a tornado warning is issued by the National Weather Service
  • When the National Weather Service reports sustained winds of 76 miles per hour or higher
  • When a police officer or fire fighter requests an activation
  • Sirens are activated by Washington County dispatch

Watch versus Warning

  • Watch–conditions are favorable for severe thunderstorms or tornado
  • Warning–a severe thunderstorm or tornado has been spotted by radar or trained spotter

Outdoor warning sirens

  • Are only meant to be heard while outdoors
  • When inside with closed windows, be sure to tune in to local weather information on radio, television or NOAA weather radio for updates
  • When the sirens are sounded, they will run for three minutes and then stop. The threat of severe weather does not stop when the sirens stop!
  • An “all-clear” is not sounded
  • Sirens are tested the first Wednesday of the month from March through October

Seek safe shelter

  • A basement is the best choice
  • Choose a ground-floor room surrounded by other rooms if no basement is available
  • Choose a room with no windows if possible
  • Choose a small closet or bathroom

Cottage Grove’s storm damage cleanup policy

  • Residents are responsible for cleanup of their own property
  • The City will remove debris in streets and parks
  • In the event of a major storm, the Mayor determines if a state of emergency should be declared
  • Be aware of fallen power lines and weakened structures

Severe Weather Awareness Week subjects for the week:

Check each page link above for specific information about these topics, including fact sheets, checklists, data and other resources.

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