By Mike Kruzman /

Livingston County will again be participating in a statewide event that could save lives during a natural disaster.

Each year, an average of 15 tornadoes touch down in Michigan, with the possibility based on past incidents, that Livingston County could be hit. In an effort to help educate and keep residents safe in case of such an event, the Board of Commissioners, at the request of Livingston County Emergency Management, has authorized participation in the 2021 statewide Tornado Drill Day.

This year’s drill will take place on Wednesday, March 24th, at 1pm. Livingston County has participated in the event every year since 2016 except for last year. The Board approved their participation, but Emergency Manager Therese Cremonte said they opted out due to the pandemic. With tensions high last spring, they didn’t want to touch off the sirens and send out the alerts.

Cremonte said it will be good to get back to it this year, especially with new employees at the county who might not know the procedures. The event will last about 20 minutes before an “all clear” message is sent out. That 20 minutes can be used to review safety procedures, sheltering, and how to handle customers or guests in a building one may work in.

Cremonte said that schools are required to perform one tornado drill in March, so this also helps them meet that requirement. The County is also using a different public alerting system this year, so the drill can act as a new test to ensure it is working properly.

(Photo - 2012 Dexter tornado - Ben Pfister)