Hopkins will take part in two tornado drills Thursday as part of Severe Weather Awareness Week, the city announced.
The first drill takes place at 1:45 p.m. and is a statewide drill that gives hospitals, schools and businesses a chance to practice their emergency plans. The second takes place at 6:55 p.m. so that families and second-shift workers can practice their drills.
Outdoor warning sirens will sound during both drills. Most radio, TV and cable stations will broadcast a simulated tornado-warning message at 1:45 p.m. The warning should last a minute.
Alerts for both the simulated tornado watches and warnings will be issued over the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration weather radios.
Minnesota has conducted a Severe Weather Awareness Week, in partnership with the National Weather Service and local governments, for more than 20 years, according to Minnesota Homeland Security and Emergency Management.
Outdoor siren activation takes place when during a tornado warning or sustained straight-line winds in excess of 70 mph, according to the City of Hopkins. Beginning in 2013, Hennepin County divides its sirens into 20 zones. Hopkins is in the same zone as Minnetonka, Wayzata and Woodland. If a warning is issued in the northern, southern or eastern suburbs, the sirens may not sound in Hopkins.
Sirens are meant to be heard outside. They are not designed to provide notification inside your home or business.
Whenever sirens sound, residents should seek shelter and listen to local weather information on television, radio or NOAA weather radios.
Emergency officials can also send warnings directly to cell phones in affected areas through Wireless Emergency Alerts (WEA) that send short messages to all phones within range of designated cell towers. Click here for more information on WEAs.