Severe Weather Awareness Week and Campus Test Posted on April 10th, 2018 by

TO: The Gustavus Community
FROM: Campus Safety
SUBJECT: Severe Weather Awareness Week and Campus Test
DATE: April 10, 2018

The week of April 9-13 is Severe Weather Awareness Week and is a great time to make and practice your emergency plan on campus and at home.

Two of the most important events during Severe Weather Awareness Week are the annual statewide tornado drills. These drills are scheduled for Thursday, April 12, 2018 at 1:45 p.m. and 6:45 p.m. Outdoor warning sirens and NOAA Weather Radios will sound in a simulated tornado warning. The first drill is intended for institutions and businesses. The evening drill is intended for second shift workers and families.  
The Gustavus community is urged to take the opportunity and practice tornado evacuation procedures in residence and academic buildings. Gustavus will also test the campus emergency notification system during the 1:45 p.m. drill on Thursday. Please make sure your emergency contact information is up-to-date prior to the drill. In the past year, Campus Safety has added safety bulletin boards in several buildings throughout campus.These bulletin boards contain information about shelter locations within the building. Please take the opportunity to review shelter locations and be prepared for the drill on Thursday. Shelter locations can also be found on the Campus Safety web page.

Additional information about other types of severe weather can be found at Homeland Security and Emergency Management
Why Severe Weather Awareness Week?

According to the National Weather Service, Minnesota experiences an average of 40 tornadoes per year. A record was set in 2010 with 104 tornadoes across the state. Understanding this threat and knowing what to do when a tornado is approaching can save lives.
Information on Alerts and Warnings:

Technology can now communicate with us almost anywhere and give us advanced warnings of impending hazards or other important information. Knowing where and how you can receive the warnings and what to do when you get them can mean the difference between life and death. 
Siren Activation Information

The counties and cities in Minnesota own and operate all sirens in their jurisdictions. They also set the policies and procedures of how and when to activate them in their area. Neither the National Weather Service or the State of Minnesota operate or control any sirens.  

There are many different policies regarding siren activation that are used by the various cities and counties. In Nicollet County, sirens are activated for all tornado warnings. Local officials may also sound the sirens anytime they believe severe weather is a threat, even if there is no warning from the National Weather Service. In addition, sirens have become more and more sophisticated throughout the years and can now be sounded in different zones. This means a siren may be going off in western Nicollet County because of an imminent threat in that area but not in Saint Peter because the eastern portion of the county is not at risk for imminent danger.
Sirens normally sound for about three minutes, and then go silent. It is very rare to keep the sirens sounding for the entire warning, since that would cause the backup battery to run out, which would be critical in the event that power goes out. Some jurisdictions may repeat siren activation every few minutes.

NOTE: There is no such thing as an “all-clear” siren. Warnings only expire at a time designated, not by another signal or alarm.

For more information on Alerts and Warnings, please visit the Minnesota Department of Public Safety.


Comments are closed.