Voluntary tornado drill planned for Wednesday

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LANSING, Mich. (AP) -- A voluntary statewide tornado drill is planned in Michigan as officials encourage residents to prepare for the possibility of severe weather this spring and summer.

Michigan Gov. Gretchen Whitmer has proclaimed Severe Weather Awareness Week in the state is scheduled to run through Saturday. A tornado drill is planned to take place at 1 p.m. Wednesday. Michigan residents, businesses and organizations are encouraged to take part in the effort.

Officials are encouraging residents to learn about severe weather warnings, put together an emergency preparedness kit, make an emergency plan and compile emergency contacts. The safety effort includes the Michigan State Police's Emergency Management and Homeland Security Division.

“Spring and summer can bring fast-changing weather conditions that increase the potential for severe weather,” said Capt. Emmitt McGowan, deputy state director of Emergency Management and Homeland Security and commander of the MSP/EMHSD. “By taking steps to prepare before severe weather strikes, you can lessen the impacts a disaster could have on yourself, your family and your property.”

Steps you can take to be better prepared before severe weather strikes include understanding severe weather warnings and terms, preparing an emergency preparedness kit, making an emergency plan, and creating an emergency contact list.

Details of emergency preparedness tips and other information are posted online with the provided link.