This week is severe weather awareness week. Meteorologist Todd Heitkamp with the National Weather Service says mid-week tests are planned.

"It culminates Wednesday with a test tornado watch at 10:00 AM and that's for the entire State of South Dakota," said Heitkamp. "At 10:15 AM, the three National Weather Service Offices in Sioux Falls, Aberdeen and Rapid City will issue a test tornado warning and at that time many sirens will be activated and many radio stations will broadcast the warning as well."

Heitkamp says it’s important now to make a plan for a shelter location at home, work, and school and talk about the plan.

What you keep in that sheltering location can be helpful, and even save a life.  Water, food, a flashlight, a first aid kit, back up phone chargers, a battery powered radio and batteries are essentials.

Here are two new things to add to your emergency supplies in your shelter area: shoes for every member of your family as many people run downstairs barefoot and storing any helmets you may have on hand could save a life.

Does the idea seem a little excessive? Not according to Heitkamp.

"The number one cause of death during a tornado is head injury, and that's a way to protect everyone."


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