Severe Weather Awareness week is April 17-21, 2017.
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:
- Monday — Alerts and Warnings
- Tuesday — Severe Weather, Lightning and Hail
- Wednesday — Flooding, Flash Floods
- Thursday — Tornado Safety Information (with statewide tornado drills)
- Friday — Extreme Heat
Check each page link above for specific information about these topics, including fact sheets, checklists, data and other resources.