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Severe Weather Awareness

 April 17-21 is Severe Weather Awareness Week

Pictures of Severe Weather

Severe Weather Awareness Week
During this week, individuals, families, businesses and schools are encouraged to create or update emergency plans for home and work, and practice an emergency exercise or drill.

Each day of the week focuses on a different weather safety topic.
Click each link below to visit the Minnesota Department of Public Safety's information page.

 Monday Alerts and Warnings
 Tuesday Severe Weather, Lightning and Hail
 Wednesday Floods
 Thursday Tornadoes (with statewide tornado drills) 
 Friday Extreme Heat

Tornado Drills
The Minnesota Department of Public Safety will be conducting two statewide tornado drills. Severe weather sirens will be activated at 1:45 and 6:45 p.m. on Thursday, April 20 in Burnsville and neighboring communities. Residents are encouraged to practice their tornado drills at these times.

Weather Radio and Weather Alerts
Residents are encouraged to purchase a National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) weather radio and sign up for weather alerts. The National Weather Service (NWS) and many local media outlets offer electronic alerting services that provide email, RSS feed or text messages to cell phones, computers or other devices, either directly or via services such as Facebook, Twitter or others. These messages are available by voluntary subscription and can provide local information on weather, including watches and warnings. The list below includes a sampling of various electronic alerting services in Minnesota:    

Dakota County Emergency Notifications
Sign up for text, email and other alerts
about emergencies, severe weather and important community news through the Dakota Communications Center's Emergency Alert Program.
Dakota Communications Center Emergency Alerts

Severe Weather Impacts
Each year, thunderstorms, hail and straight-line winds cause extensive damage throughout Minnesota. Burnsville is among those cities that have seen a share of severe weather events. There have been 110 recorded tornados that have found their way through Burnsville. There were a variety of strengths. forces, injuries, distance traveled and months in which they occurred spanned March through November. Below is a list of the most devastating tornadoes and their impact on the community.






 June 19, 1951





 July 20, 1951





 June 23-24, 1952





May 6, 1965





May 9, 1973





 June 14, 1981





 Information gathered from www.homefacts.com

How do I prepare for severe weather?

Make a kit.
You may need to survive on your own after an emergency. This means having your own food, water, and other supplies in sufficient quantity to last for at least three days.

Make a plan.
Sit down as a family and decide where you will go and how you will communicate. There will be different responses to different weather events, so prepare for them all.

Be informed.

Answer the question, "What types of emergencies can happen in your community?" and use that to prepare.

Get involved.
Learn about your community's emergency plans and how you can help in the event of a disaster. Burnsville residents have the opportunity to become involved in city programs, such as the Mobile Volunteer Network (MVN) and the Community Emergency Response Team (CERT).

Click here for more information on how to prepare to severe weather and emergency situations.

Outdoor Warning Sirens

What triggers siren activation by the Dakota County Communications (DCC) staff?

  • Dakota County activates sirens for
  • An alert received via a weather radio with a NOS announcement.
  • A request from the local agency to sound the sirens.
  • Local media advising of the advancing weather conditions.

Does the DCC always set off the sirens for the entire county when only a portion of the county is in the
storm’s path?

If the weather warning includes all of Dakota County, the sirens will sound countywide. Sirens can also be activated by zones [see map] or by individual cities within Dakota County as determined by information the DCC receives from the NWS or local officials.

Who actually activates the sirens at the DCC?
DCC supervisors activate the sirens.

How long do the sirens run during a warning activation?
The sirens automatically shut off after three minutes.

Related Documents

Dakota County Siren Policy

Help Center