To prepare residents across the state for possible severe weather in 2012, Governor Martin O’Malley has signed a proclamation designating the week of April 8 – 14 as Severe Storms Awareness Week. The week will feature a number of events, designed to heighten understanding of severe weather in Maryland. St. Mary’s County Department of Public Safety urges residents to be prepared for all types of severe weather, including tornadoes, flooding, straight line winds and lighting. Every household should be prepared to face these challenges.

As a part of Severe Storms Awareness Week, on Wednesday, April 11th, at 9:45 a.m., a statewide tornado drill will be held. An alert will be sent over NOAA Weather Radio and broadcast media. The test code may not be heard on some brands of weather radios, so residents are urged to listen to broadcast media at 9:45 AM for the drill message. All Maryland schools, businesses and citizens across the state are encouraged to participate in this exercise and test their tornado emergency plan.
As a general rule it’s important to remember that if a tornado is spotted in your area you should go to an interior room at the lowest level of your home (or office) and stay AWAY from any windows.
Make sure you have a plan for severe weather:
        Be sure every family member knows important phone numbers for schools, offices, home and emergency services
        Identify an out-of town contact. It might be easier to make a long-distance phone call than to call in town, so an out-of-town contact is in a better position to communicate among separated family members
        Identify a meeting place near your home where family members can meet if separated during severe weather  
        Identify a meeting place away from your home where family members can meet if your neighborhood in not accessible                                                                    &nb