What we can learn about severe weather safety after the Gaylord tornado

Experts say to have a plan ready before severe weather hits

A rare tornado hit northern Michigan, and many were taken by surprise by the severe storm. Michigan sees an average of 15 tornados a year. The tornado in Gaylord was pretty intense but also a good reminder that it might be good to review the state’s alert system in case another severe weather strikes.

A rare tornado hit Northern Michigan last week, and many were taken by surprise.

Michigan sees an average of 15 tornados per year. The tornado in Gaylord was a good reminder to review the state’s alert system in case severe weather strikes again.

The first rule of thumb for surviving severe weather is resisting the urge to wonder at it, shoot it on your phone, and talk about it, because even those 15-30 seconds can be the difference in surviving, especially if it’s a tornado.

Related: State issues guidance for cleanup after deadly EF-3 tornado devastates Gaylord

Michigan has a weather alert system that gives us information in several ways: cellphone, weather radio, television, sirens, or any combination of the bunch.

If you get a tornado warning, have an in-home plan before you need it. It is recommended to go as low in your house as you can and put walls and framing between you and the storm.

Experts say not to hide under an overpass if you are on the road. If you can see the tornado from afar, travel south at 90 degrees. Pollman says that will help drivers avoid hail and other consequences of severe weather.

Click here to see more safety tips from the National Weather Service.

Also: What to know about the tornado that touched down Friday in Gaylord

Two people are dead, and more than 40 injured. On Monday (May 23), the small town- about 230 miles northwest of Detroit is starting to pick up the pieces and hoping to heal. We've been covering this disaster for three days now and It's still hard to believe how much damage was done so Quickly.

About the Authors:

Paula Tutman is an Emmy award-winning journalist who came to Local 4 in 1992. She's a Peace Corps alum who spent her early childhood living in Sierra Leone, West Africa and Tanzania and East Africa.

Elizabeth Washington is a Digital News Editor and has been with Local 4 News since April 2022.