Michiganders practice tornado safety during statewide drill

You might have heard severe weather sirens going off in your community today.

It was part of a statewide tornado drill for severe weather awareness week.

When a tornado warning is issued you will likely have just minutes to find safe shelter.

It's best to discuss a plan to seek shelter with your co-workers, kids, and family.

That way you know where to go if you're at home or at work.

Saginaw Valley State University was one of many locations that participated in today's drill.

Text messages were sent to students to make them aware of the drill and tell them to practice seeking shelter.

"A lot of these storms will come up quite quickly, you may not have a lot of notice and once those sirens go off, you need to be prepared to act," said Saginaw Valley State University Police Chief Leo Mioduszewski.

The average tornado lead time is just thirteen minutes, and you may have even less than that to get to your safe place.

A Tornado Watch means conditions are favorable for a tornado to form, and is often issued before a Tornado Warning.

A Tornado Warning is issued when a tornado has been spotted or indicated on doppler radar.

If you are outside and hear tornado sirens, go indoors immediately.

You should seek shelter in a basement or sturdy interior room on the lowest floor of a sturdy structure, with as many walls between yourself and the outdoors as possible.

Get under a table or pillows and protect your head.

If you are outdoors with no shelter available and a tornado is approaching, it's best to get into a ditch, allowing debris to fly over you.

For more tornado safety tips you need to know, visit

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