By Mike Kruzman /

It’s Severe Weather Awareness Week and officials across the state and locally are encouraging everyone’s participation in a Wednesday afternoon event that could save lives in the future.

Michigan’s Statewide Tornado Drill is scheduled for tomorrow at 1pm. The Michigan State Police Emergency Management and Homeland Security Division, or MSP/EMHSD, is urging businesses, organizations, families and individuals to take part in this preparedness activity. They report that the average lead time for tornadoes to develop is between 10 and 15 minutes, which means residents need to be ready to react quickly when a warning is issued.

Livingston County has participated in the event annually since 2016, with one exception that occurred at the very beginning of the pandemic when it was believed people were already under heightened strain. For the drill, a test warning will go out from the Livingston County Public Alert System and tornado sirens will be activated. After 20 minutes an “all clear” will be sent out.

In Michigan, an average of 15 tornadoes touch down yearly. State Director for the MSP/EMHSD Col. Joe Gasper said, in a release, that they are a very real threat, and that by planning now, you can be better prepared when a disaster happens.

For more information about tornado safety, visit

(Photo: Michigan Association of Broadcasters)