Spring generally brings great fluctuations in weather conditions here in the Great Lakes State.

Gov. Gretchen Whitmer has proclaimed March 24-30 as Severe Weather Awareness Week and the Michigan State Police, Emergency Management and Homeland Security Division (MSP/EMHSD) is encouraging residents to prepare before severe weather strikes this spring and summer.

MSP Capt. Emmitt McGowan reminds residents that spring and summer can bring fast-changing weather conditions that increase the potential for severe weather. By taking steps to prepare before severe weather strikes, homeowners can lessen the impacts a disaster could have on themselves, their family and their property.

Steps residents can take to be better prepared before severe weather strikes include understanding severe weather warnings and terms, preparing an emergency preparedness kit, making an emergency plan, and creating an emergency contact list.

To help with preparedness and effective warning systems, a voluntary statewide tornado drill is scheduled to occur at 1 p.m. today (Wednesday, March 27). Businesses, organizations, families and individuals are encouraged to engage in the statewide preparedness activity but are not required to do so. Nearly all state of Michigan facilities will participate.

For more information about being safe before, during and after a tornado, follow the MSP/EMHSD and visit www.michigan.gov/miready. Be a part of the severe weather awareness conversation by using the hashtags #MIREADY and #MITORNADOREADY.