DPS Hopes ‘Severe Weather Awareness Week’ Encourages Preparation, Safety

MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO) — Come Springtime, some April showers can develop into even more — that’s why this week is Severe Weather Awareness week.

WCCO’s Molly Rosenblatt met up with the Department of Public Safety and Homeland Security Management for a live broadcast to help us all stay prepared as we head into severe weather season.

Deputy Director for Homeland Security of Emergency Management Kevin Reed stresses Severe Weather Awareness Week is always a necessary refresher.

“There’s always a part of the population that doesn’t seem to get the message, and that’s really what we want to do,” he said. “There’s some that are way tuned into weather — they live it. We get such a variety of weather in Minnesota, we can go from -20 degrees to 90 degrees throughout a season.”

That’s why they hold events like Tuesday’s live broadcast, to cover safety tips on topics like lighting, tornadic strength winds and hail.

Our changing climate also means changes for Severe Weather Awareness Week

“We look at all the hazards across Minnesota,” Reed said. “We can tell that the patterns of weather have changed.”

From the catastrophic flooding last fall, to the earlist tornadoes ever recorded in the state just a month ago — it means things will have to shift as far as how we think about severe weather moving forward.

“We don’t get tornadoes in March, we only get them in the summertime, but now we are,” Reed said. “So we have to try to help them understand that things are changing.”

Indeed the past year has been one full of extremes, with 18 straight months of above average temperatures. We also saw two days with temperatures in the 60s in February — that has happened only four times since scientists started taking records in the late 19th century.

“So we have to start looking at those long range, and telling people how to prepare a little bit differently, because it’s outside their norm, outside of what they’ve grown up with here in Minnesota,” Reed said.

For more information on how to stay safe this severe weather season, visit the DPS online.

And if you want to see the full broadcast, I posted it on my Facebook page. You can also check ou the Severe Weather savety tips from the Department of Homeland at wcco.com/links

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