Tornado drills scheduled for Thursday as part of Severe Weather Awareness Week

While state agencies and Minnesotans continue to focus on COVID-19, officials are reminding the public to plan for severe weather.

This week is Severe Weather Awareness Week, during which time people are urged to make plans and emergency kits to use for when severe weather hits.

"I know our collective attention is focused squarely on fighting the virus, but we live in Minnesota where the weather always has a vote and we need to listen to that," said Joe Kelly, director of the Department of Public Safety’s Homeland Security and Emergency management division.

Thursday, tornado drills are scheduled in Minnesota and residents are urged to prepare an emergency plan in the event a tornado were to impact them.

Mock drills are scheduled for 1:45 p.m. and 6:45 p.m., and outdoor warning sirens will sound in several counties across the state. However, no weather radio alerts or TV messages will be run.

Due to the coronavirus pandemic, health and emergency officials still urge Minnesotans to practice social distancing during any drills or sheltering. You can find more information on how to best do that here.