Statewide tornado drill reminds residents to have a plan in case of the worst

Tornado sirens like these were tested as part of Michigan's Severe Weather Awareness Week. (Photo: Mike HorneWEYI/WSMH)

BAY COUNTY, Mich. - Given the not-so-spring-like weather mid-Michigan is enduring right now, it's the farthest thing from most of our minds at the moment.

But state officials think otherwise and say it's time to start thinking about, and planning for, severe weather.

When most of us think of severe weather, one of the first that comes to mind are tornadoes.

And the best way to prepare for any severe weather, according to safety experts, is to monitor the situation as it starts to occur.

And have a plan!

"We want people to develop their plan, how they are going to react when it happens, how they are going to get the information that something like a tornado is occurring and the steps they're going to take to make sure their family and friends are safe,” said Ryan Mantz of Bay County Emergency Management.

And for good reason.

On average, Michigan records about 16 tornadoes every year.

Wednesday, as part of Michigan's Severe Weather Awareness Week, state residents were asked to take a moment to practice their emergency plans as if it were a real event.

"We only have about 10 to 15 minutes while that tornado develops. So, it's a very short window. If you don't know what you're doing before that, you don't know what to do while it's going on,” said Mantz.

The National Weather Service stresses the acronym, ‘ACES’. ‘Awareness’, ‘Communication’, being able to locate your

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