Eaton County Central Dispatch to participate in Michigan Statewide tornado drill on April 11

Eaton County Central Dispatch to participate in Michigan Statewide tornado drill on April 11
Posted at 1:19 PM, Apr 04, 2018
and last updated 2018-04-04 13:19:25-04
Michigan’s Severe Weather Awareness Week this year runs April 9-13, with the annual voluntary statewide tornado drill on Wednesday, April 11th at 1 pm. Tornadoes can and do occur in our area; in fact the last major tornado to hit Michigan was right here in Eaton County on April 22, 1977.  Since 1950, there have been 25 tornadoes confirmed in Eaton County. 
Businesses, organizations, families and individuals are encouraged to be a part of this statewide preparedness activity. Eaton County communities that will be participating by activating outdoor warning sirens include the City of Charlotte, Delta Township, City of Eaton Rapids, City of Grand Ledge, Hamlin Township, City of Olivet, City of Potterville, and Vermontville Township.
“Eaton County Central Dispatch will take this opportunity to practice our procedures as if it were an actual tornado warning,” according to 911 Director Michael Armitage.  In addition to participating in the drill, residents of Eaton County can also prepare by creating a Smart911 account and registering for emergency alerts at or  Residents can also register for alerts by texting the word EATON to 67283.
While tornadoes can occur during any time of the year, they are especially common during the late spring and early summer months. As one of nature’s most violent storms, they can devastate homes and property in just seconds.
The average lead-time for tornadoes to develop is 10 to 15 minutes, which means citizens need to be ready to react quickly when a warning is issued.
To be ready for a tornado:
  • Identify the lowest place to take cover during a tornado. If a basement does not exist, find an interior hallway away from windows, doors and outside walls.
  • Go under something sturdy—such as a workbench or stairwell—when taking shelter in the basement or designated spot.
  • Conduct regular tornado drills. Make sure each household member knows where to go and what to do in the event of a tornado.
  • Stay tuned to commercial radio or television broadcasts for news on changing weather conditions or approaching storms.
  • Know the difference: a Tornado Watch means conditions exist for a tornado to develop; a Tornado Warning means that a tornado has been sighted or indicated by weather radar.
  • Be aware of the following signs that can indicate an approaching tornado:
    • Dark, often greenish sky
    • Large hail
    • A large, dark low-lying cloud
    • Loud roar, similar to a freight train
  • Develop a 72-hour emergency supply kit with essential items such as a three-day supply of water and food, a NOAA Weather Radio, important family documents and items that satisfy unique family needs.

About Severe Weather Awareness Week

Severe Weather Awareness Week is sponsored by the Michigan Committee for Severe Weather Awareness (MCSWA) to educate the public about the dangers of tornadoes and other severe weather events. These precautions can be taken to save lives and protect families. The MCSWA was formed in 1991 to encourage Michigan residents to be prepared in the event of severe weather. To learn more about the committee, go to [].

For more information about being safe before, during and after a tornado, go to [].