lightning strike and storm clouds

On the first Wednesday of every month, emergency sirens sound. 

 In Minneapolis, CNN reporter Josh Campbell was questioning his safety when the tornado sirens blared at 1pm on the first Wednesday in April. The first Wednesday in April happened to also be having a significant rainstorm. The National Weather Service had to clarify that there was no immediate danger. The CNN reporter returned quickly after learning that, in Minnesota, sirens sound periodically for education and testing. 

 The sirens will sound again on Thursday, April 15 for severe weather awareness week. Two sirens will sound that day, one at 1:45 PM, and one in the evening at 6:45. The first drill is intended for institutions and businesses, and the evening drill is intended for second shift workers and families. Schools will hold their statewide tornado drills as well. 

 Severe weather awareness week is April 12 through the 16th, 2021. Each year, Hennepin County in collaboration with the National Weather Service, sponsors severe weather awareness week in Minnesota. The week is designed to refresh, remind, and educate everyone about the seasonal threats from severe weather and how to avoid them. You can visit dps.minnesota.gov to find out more. 

 Tornados are most common from March through November but June has the highest average of tornado occurrences at 9.5 according to the Minnesota DNR. Tornados can occur at any time of the day or night with a higher chance between 2 PM and 9 PM. The uncertainty of these storms proves awareness and strategy are imperative. If severe weather is imminent, taking action could save your life. When you hear a storm siren during inclement weather, seek shelter immediately. The slogan for Ramsey County is: get inside and get information. Get to a lower level, or inside a bathtub in an inner bathroom with no windows. Tornadoes and severe weather in Minnesota are a serious threat. It’s not uncommon to experience 100 tornadoes in a season. 

 In Minnesota, sirens will also sound when wind speeds can excel 70 mph, or there is a danger of an attack.  The attack siren changes tone with increasing and decreasing sound.  This is not to be confused with volume, where some sirens spin around and become distant and increasingly louder.  An attack siren will have different tones for 3 minutes.   

 Prepare for tornados and severe weather events in advance. The sirens in Minnesota help people do that. Sirens are an immediate threat warning and should be taken seriously.  Use a NOAA radio for up-to-date information and stay in a shelter if you are tracking severe weather. If you find yourself in need of services after a tornado, call ServiceMaster for damage restoration. Our phones are answered 24/7 and we will come out as soon as possible to assess the damage and restore your property.