Since severe weather is a recurring threat, all Carver County residents are encouraged to prepare and practice severe weather emergency plans in both their workplaces and homes.
Between March and November, on the first Wednesday of each month, at 1:00 p.m, Carver County communities test their outdoor warning sirens to assure that systems will work in the event of an emergency.
When these siren tests occur, they involve two distinct signals. These two different signals warn you of possible threats to your community.
The first, and most frequently used signal, indicates a tornado or other severe weather. This signal is a steady tone.
The other signal is for other types of emergencies. It has a warbling sound.
If you hear your sirens sound in a steady tone, it means that severe weather has been sighted in your area. Seek shelter immediately and turn on a battery-powered radio for more information. If you see that severe weather is approaching, don't wait for the sirens to go off before seeking shelter. In some fast-moving storms, the dangerous weather may pass through before the siren can be turned on.
When the sirens stop, it does not mean the threat is over. It means you should already be indoors, listening to other media for severe weather information. The outdoor sirens are meant to alert people who are outdoors to seek immediate shelter.
Stay alert to severe weather!
Thunderstorms, hail, straight line winds and heat waves cause extensive damage in Minnesota every year.
The annual toll from hail alone is about $1 billion nationally.
High temperatures can quickly cause heat exhaustion, especially in children and elderly persons.
Lightning kills and injures more people than any other summer weather threat!
47 lightning fires took place in homes and business structures in 2007, resulting in damages of about $2.3 million.
The National Weather Service has changed the criteria it uses to issue severe thunderstorm warnings, effective April 1, 2009. The size of hail that will trigger a severe thunderstorm warning is now one inch, about the size of a quarter or a ping-pong ball. The old rules stated the hail size as at or larger than three-quarters of an inch, about the size of a dime or marble.
Severe weather warnings are issued to the public by the National Weather Service.
Topics include the Emergency Alert System (EAS) and NOAA all-hazards weather radio.
Consider purchasing an indoor monitor.
In 1997, floods on the Red River and the Minnesota River affected 58 Minnesota counties, resulting in the largest Presidential disaster declaration in state history.
The cost of response and recovery was estimated at $545 million dollars.
Heat-related fatalities outpace deaths in several other weather categories.
Based on a national average from 1992-2001, excessive heat claimed 219 lives each year.
By contrast, floods killed 88, tornadoes 57, lightning 52 and hurricanes 15.
For more information:
Weather officials and safety experts suggest every family should have a weather radio, which broadcasts official Weather Service warnings, watches, forecasts and other hazard information. According to the National Weather Service, "NOAA (National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration — part of the Department of Commerce) radios should be as common in homes and public places as smoke detectors!" Radios are available at many online sites as well as local electronics retailers.
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