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Editorial: Be prepared for the worst

Freeborn County is no stranger to severe weather, and that threat ramps up in the summer when the threat of tornadoes increases.

According to the Minnesota Department of Natural Resources, nearly three-quarters of all tornadoes in Minnesota have occurred during the months of May, June and July, with the highest number occurring in June.

Though tornadoes can occur at any time of the day or night, the most probable danger period in Minnesota is late spring and early summer between 2 and 9 p.m.

According to the state agency, Minnesota experiences an average of 28.2 tornadoes every year, though it had up to 113 in 2010, when there were 48 on one day on June 17, 2010.

With these numbers looming over the state, it is important residents be prepared for when the next round of severe weather will strike.

Being prepared includes having an emergency plan and refreshing your emergency preparedness kits.

Select a place for your family to go for protection or to go if you get separated, and write down important phone numbers. Make sure everyone carries a copy of this information in their backpack, purse or wallet. You can print it onto a wallet-sized card at ready.gov/make-a-plan.

Check with places your family spends time, such as schools, workplaces, churches, grocery stores or sports facilities and learn what their emergency plans are. This can be done with other places on both the neighborhood and community levels, too.

Also, make sure to stay aware of weather conditions during thunderstorms, including a dark or green-colored sky; large, dark, low-lying clouds; large hail; and a large roar that sounds like a freight train. If you notice any of these conditions, you should take cover immediately and follow your local radio, TV stations, the internet or the National Weather Service for weather updates.

Do what you  need to do to protect your family.