April 17-21: Minnesota Severe Weather Awareness Week

April 17 – 21 is Minnesota Severe Weather Awareness Week. Several drills will be taking place during the week, as we head into thunderstorm season.

On April 20 at 1:45 p.m. and 6:55 p.m. MCTC’s Public Safety Department will use the main campus overhead paging system to notify campus occupants of the drill. Please proceed to a pre-designated safe shelter area (basement or other designated area). It may be helpful to review and practice the routes to safe shelter areas prior to the actual drill. Safe shelter areas are marked by signs with the universal tornado symbol underscored by the phrase “Severe Weather Shelter Area.” The Saint Paul campus will also take part in the state-wide drills. Participation in the drills is not mandatory.

If you do find yourself in a thunderstorm, here are a few things to keep in mind:

*   The National Weather service considers a thunderstorm to be severe if it produces hail 3/4 inch or larger, wind 58 mph or stronger, or tornadoes.

*   Watches are issued when conditions are favorable for tornadoes, severe thunderstorms or flash floods.  If you are in a watch area, make plans to seek shelter if necessary. 

*   Warnings are issued when severe weather has been reported or is imminent.  Seek shelter immediately if you are in or near the path of the storm.

*   Warnings are issued by county names.  Know the name of the county you live in and the counties that surround you.

In an apartment, school or office building:
*   Move to the innermost room on the lowest level or to a pre-designated shelter area.  Crouch down and protect your head from flying debris if needed.  Avoid areas with glass and large roof spans.

 In a home:
*   Go to the basement.  Get under a table, workbench or other sturdy furniture. If there is no basement, go into a small interior room on the lowest floor (closets, bathrooms and interior halls afford the best protection).  Stay away from windows.

While driving:
*    Get out of vehicles and lie flat in a ditch or ravine.  Never try to out-drive a tornado. Please note that this applies only to severe thunderstorms and tornadoes.

For more information on severe weather awareness and procedures, check out Metropolitan State’s R U Ready emergency preparedness page, by clicking the link.