Severe weather week to be observed
Beltrami County Sheriff's Office of Emergency Management would like to announce county-wide participation in the 2010 Minnesota Severe Weather Awareness Week from Monday, April 19-Friday, April 23.
- The theme for Monday is Thunderstorms, Hail, Straight-Line Winds and Lightening. Thunderstorms can produce a wide variety of damaging and life threatening weather elements. Hail causes one billion dollars in damage each year, and can fall in excess of 100 miles per hour. Straight-line winds are also possible from thunderstorms, and can exceed 100 miles per hour. Lightening kills around 100 Americans each year. All thunderstorms produce lightening, regardless of the severity.
- The theme for Tuesday is Severe Weather Warnings. WATCHES are issued when conditions are favorable for tornadoes, severe thunderstorms, or flash floods. WARNINGS are issued when severe weather has been reported or is imminent. If a warning is issued and you are in the path of the storm, seek shelter immediately. Do not wait for the storm to arrive. Warnings are broadcast across several sources including NOAA weather radios, commercial radio and television stations.
- The theme for Wednesday is Floods and Flash Floods. Torrential or excessive rainfall from summer storms can create flooding situations, sometimes very rapidly. Floods kill 200 Americans each year, and in Minnesota, floods are responsible for more deaths that any other weather event. Most deaths are blamed on people traveling through flooded roadways. Remember the slogan, "Turn Around Don't Drown!" Never drive through flood waters.
- The theme for Thursday is the Statewide Tornado Drill. A simulated tornado watch and two simulated tornado warnings will be issued state-wide on April 23. Beltrami County will participate in all activities beginning at 9 a.m., when a simulated tornado watch will be issued. At 1:45 p.m. a simulated tornado warning, will be issued and another warning will be issued at 6:55 p.m. Outdoor warning sirens will be activated for the simulated tornado warnings in the cities of Bemidji, Blackduck and Kelliher. If severe weather is possible on the drill day, the simulated warnings will not take place to avoid confusion with possible real warnings, but private parties are encouraged to still participate.
- The theme for Friday, is Heat Waves. Heat waves are a weather element many people give little thought to because you can't see it. Excessive heat can cause a number of ailments, including heat stroke and heat exhaustion. Learn to recognize these conditions and take appropriate actions when they occur.
If severe weather is observed, seek shelter immediately in an interior room with no exterior walls on the lowest floor of a building. Do not wait for a warning to seek shelter. A NOAA Weather Radio with back up batteries is the best way to receive weather updates. Citizens are encouraged not to call 911 for weather updates, rather use NOAA radio, commercial radio, television or internet for updates. The 911 system should only be used where there is a threat to life or property. Non-emergency calls can be directed to the Beltrami County Communications Center at 333-9111.