Tips to weather the Minnesota storm season

Our summer isn’t all fun and games

Our summer isn’t all fun and games

Summer in Minnesota brings nice weather. Summer also brings a number of potential natural weather occurrences, such as severe thunderstorms, floods, extreme heat and tornadoes.

Weather has accounted for most of Minnesota’s 66 FEMA disaster declarations since the 1950s. And once dangerous weather has struck, it is too late to start thinking about your plan to stay safe.

Don’t get caught in the storm

In an average year, 44 tornadoes touch down in Minnesota. Of those, 28 are within Hennepin County. In addition, severe thunderstorms occur even more frequently, and can be just as dangerous.

To help alert residents, sirens are used for severe weather warnings, as well as for other situations when people should take shelter. Weather-related sirens are triggered when the National Weather Service has issued a tornado warning, and/or if there are reports of constant straight-line winds of at least 70 mph.

Keep safe in a severe storm

If a storm hits, find shelter away from windows, preferably on a lower level or in a basement, making sure you have a way to get up-to-date information via TV, radio, or NOAA weather radio. In addition, have a shelter-in-place kit ready with the following items:

  • A three-day supply of water, with one gallon of water per person, per day
  • A three-day supply of non-perishable foods
  • Family and emergency contact information
  • Copies of personal documents such as medical information, proof of address, deed/lease to home, passports, birth certificates, and insurance policies
  • A first aid kit
  • A seven-day supply of any medication or medical items you may need
  • A flashlight
  • Personal hygiene items
  • An emergency blanket
  • Extra cash
  • A map of the area
  • Extra batteries and cell phone chargers

Dealing with heat

High summer temperatures can also be dangerous, as heat is one of the leading causes of weather-related fatalities in the United States. Adults over 65, children younger than four and people with chronic illnesses are most at-risk.

You can stay safe in extreme heat by:

  • Slowing down – cancel or reschedule heavy labor activities to a cooler time in the day.
  • Dressing for summer – lightweight, light-colored clothing reflects heat and sunlight and helps your body maintain a normal temperature.
  • Drinking plenty of water, even if you aren’t thirsty – people who have epilepsy, heart, liver, or kidney disease and are on fluid restrictive diets should consult a physician before increasing their consumption of fluids.
  • Always wearing sunscreen to prevent the sun from damaging your skin.

Learn more about weather advisories at

www.weather.gov/mpx