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Some counties, cities cancel statewide tornado drill Wednesday due to possibility of severe weather

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Posted at 9:19 AM, Mar 22, 2022
and last updated 2022-03-22 09:19:47-04

(WXYZ) — As Severe Weather Awareness Week continues, Michigan is holding a statewide tornado drill on Wednesday.

According to the state, the voluntary statewide tornado drill will happen at 1 p.m. on Wednesday, March 23.

Livingston County, St. Clair County, Ingham County, Monroe County, Oakland County, South Lyon and Waterford have canceled their portions of the siren test Wednesday due to possible severe weather. Macomb County will also not be participating today.

RELATED: Watch 'When Every Second Counts' - A 7 First Alert Weather Special airs March 23 on WXYZ

“Last summer in Michigan, we saw the devastating impacts of severe weather, from flooding to tornadoes and straight-line winds,” Gov. Gretchen Whitmer said in a statement. “Taking steps to prepare now can protect your home, your family and your pets. We ask that all Michiganders do their part to keep our communities safe.”

Related: Severe Weather Awareness Week: Flash flooding – the deadliest weather event nationwide

“With an average of 15 tornadoes each year, this is a very real threat to our Michigan communities,” said Col. Joe Gasper, state director of Emergency Management and Homeland Security and director of the Michigan State Police. “This drill will give people a chance to make a plan and put it to the test. By planning now, you can be better prepared when a disaster happens.”

Below you'll find tips for preparing for a tornado.

  • Know the difference: Tornado Watch means conditions exist for a tornado to develop; Tornado Warning means a tornado has been sighted or indicated by weather radar.
  • Know the signs of an approaching tornado: dark, often greenish sky; large hail; a large, dark low-lying cloud; and loud roar, like a freight train.
  • Develop an emergency preparedness kit with essential items such as a three-day supply of water and food, a NOAA Weather Radio, important family documents and items that satisfy unique family needs.
  • Conduct regular tornado drills. Make sure each household member knows where to go and what to do in the event of a tornado.
  • Stay tuned to commercial radio or television broadcasts for news on changing weather conditions or approaching storms.