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Fine Tuning Severe Weather Alerts

Our first heat wave is on the way and that means we could see some severe thunderstorms as well. Many of us are familiar with the current weather alert system of advisories, watches and warnings. But now the National Weather Service is working to take those alerts to a whole new personalized level. Forecasters hope to geotarget where a tornado or hail storm may hit—down to a two mile radius with updates every two minutes. Learn more about the Minnesota man who is working to fine tune your weather alerts.

In the meantime, you can sign up for weather alerts today and have the important information you need when severe weather hits, like the tornado that touched down in Minneapolis seven years ago on May 22.

Director Kelly’s Conversation on Weather

Director Kelly talks weather safety with WCCO-AM

Minnesota summers are beautiful, but they’re also short, which means many of us are outside as much as possible. But when severe weather rolls in, outside is the last place you’d want to be. That’s the message HSEM Director Joe Kelly delivered to WCCO listeners during a day-long radio “conversation” on Minnesota weather. Remember, a severe weather event is the worst possible time to figure out how you’re going to respond. Director Kelly stressed the importance of getting inside and getting more information.

Having an emergency plan in place will help guide you and your family through any emergency. Be ready before our next storm hits. Review our severe weather threats and how to prepare for them.

When Lightning Strikes: Detection System Would Keep Soccer Players Safe

​Imagine this: you’re sitting on the sidelines of a soccer field, watching your child play in another game. Dark clouds roll in. People are getting worried, but the coaches and refs still haven’t yet called off the game. That’s where a lightning and heat detection system can help make the call for you.  

HSEM is teaming up with the National Sports Center in Blaine to install such a system on its soccer fields where more than 15-thousand children compete in the annual USA Cup. The system would sound a horn when there is lightning in the area or when the heat index reaches a certain limit. It would partially be paid for using hazard mitigation funds from FEMA—who is currently reviewing the National Sports Center’s application.

School Safety Center Answers Calls for Help

Picture of the Byron High School Door with Locked Message
Dozens of Minnesota school districts have requested school safety assessments following several incidents around the country. The Minnesota School Safety Center (MnSSC) staff are fulfilling those requests in cities like Montevideo, Eyota and the Twin Cities.

The assessments bring together administrators, educators, law enforcement and emergency managers as they consider, “What keeps you up at night?” They also tour school buildings to identify safety concerns and other hazards such as:

  • Entry points that may need to be secured.
  • Sightlines that may need to be improved.
  • Adding security systems like cameras and locks.

At a recent visit in Byron, MnSSC staff also guided district officials through safety training, drill protocols and safety best practices.

Featured Video

Video Description: This video shows what happens behind the scenes during an exercise in the State Emergency Operations Center (SEOC).