Column: Severe weather

By Sen. Joe Hune

With spring upon us, the season of rain and storms is also here. In the Midwest, we tend to get severe weather most often in spring and summer.

Thunderstorms affect relatively small areas when compared with hurricanes and winter storms. The typical thunderstorm is 15 miles in diameter and lasts an average of 30 minutes. Despite their small size, ALL thunderstorms can be dangerous! Of the estimated 100,000 thunderstorms that occur each year in the United States, about 10 percent are classified as severe.

Although tornadoes occur in many parts of the world, they are found most frequently in the United States. A tornado is a violently rotating column of air extending from a thunderstorm to the ground. Tornadoes cause an average of 70 fatalities and 1,500 injuries in the U.S. each year.

Due to this, I would like to inform all of my constituents of the local and state services concerning severe weather and emergency management.

Steps can be taken to prepare before severe weather strikes to minimize damage and ensure safe evacuation or shelter, such as understanding severe weather warnings and terms, preparing an emergency supply kit, making an emergency plan and creating an emergency contact list.

In the case of imminent emergencies, Livingston County 911 Central Dispatch / Emergency Management is able to assist in the safety and quality of life of the people in Livingston County by coordinating a comprehensive all-hazard emergency operational plan and by providing professional, effective and efficient telecommunication response to calls by citizens and then dispatching the appropriate public safety responders.

With Gov. Rick Snyder proclaiming April 6-12 as Severe Weather Awareness Week, the Michigan State Police’s Emergency Management and Homeland Security Division is encouraging Michiganders to prepare before severe weather strikes this spring and summer.

For more information about what to do before, during and after an emergency or disaster, go to or follow the MSP/EMHSD on Twitter at @MichEMHS.

As always, please feel free to email my office at or dial toll-free at
855-JOE-HUNE and my staff will be happy to assist you.

Sen. Joe Hune is chair of the Senate Agriculture and Insurance Committees. He represents the 22nd state Senate District, which includes Livingston and Shiawassee counties, and the southern part of Ingham County. The Ingham County portion includes Bunkerhill, Leslie, Stockbridge and Vevay townships, and the cities of Leslie and Mason.