Livingston County's tornado sirens will be activated this afternoon as part of a test meant to serve as a practice round before real severe weather strikes.

Businesses, organizations, families, and individuals throughout Livingston County are encouraged to engage in a statewide tornado drill at 1pm as a preparedness activity. Officials say it’s an opportunity for everyone to practice their severe weather/tornado safety plan. For those that don’t have one, it’s said to be the perfect excuse to make one or have dialogue with love ones about what to do.

The exercise is being done in conjunction with Severe Weather Awareness Week across Michigan. Last year was the lowest amount of severe weather recorded in Southeast Lower Michigan but the state was also tied for the warmest summer on record according to Warning Coordination Meteorologist Rich Pollman with the National Weather Service White Lake Township office. He says that’s a good reason to brush up on preparedness and safety rules because severe weather will happen and people might not be as in practice as they usually are but there are multiple ways to get severe weather information.

Pollman noted unfortunately, the state is already off to a pretty active start to severe weather season with four tornadoes documented in Michigan in 2017. He says it’s important to know safe places, where to go and ways to get severe weather information. He suggests cleaning out the space underneath basement steps, a typical storage spot, and keep an emergency preparedness kit on hand. Pollman says on average the National Weather Service gives a 13 minute lead time with tornado warnings and 20-25 minutes for severe thunderstorms.

Further information about how to prepare and details on this afternoons 1pm tornado safety drill are available through the link. (JM)