Last Monday, an EF-1 tornado touched down near Alto -- that serves as the perfect reminder that Severe Weather Awareness Week in Michigan starts April 16.

The goal of Severe Weather Awareness Week is to educate people about the danger of tornadoes and other severe weather events and what to do to stay safe.

While tornadoes can occur during any time of the year, they are especially common during the late spring and early summers months in Michigan.

Meteorologists say the average lead time for tornadoes to develop is 10 to 15 minutes, which means people need to be ready to react quickly when a warning is issued.

As a reminder, if there is a tornado, here's what you need to do:

  • Locate the lowest place to take cover, like a basement. If you don't have one -- find an interior hallway away from windows, doors and outside walls.
  • Get under something study -- like workbench or stairwell

Also , be aware of the signs that a tornado could be approaching, which include:

  • Dark, often greenish sky
  • Large hail
  • A load roar -- similar to a freight train.

You can't always rely on a tornado siren to wake up you during a severe weather situation -- so, WZZM 13 On Your Side and Midland Radio company partnered together to ensure that you won't miss any weather warnings.

You can download the WZZM 13 mobile app for breaking news and weather alerts, but don't expect our app or siren to be loud enough to alert you of a weather warning or event -- especially at night. NOAA weather radios are specially designed to wake you up should a warning be issued for your area.

Radios range in price, features and are battery powered should the power be knocked out; some of which can charge your cell phone.

"Every household should have a NOAA Weather Radio," chief meteorologist George Lessens said. "It's like a smoke detector for weather."

Be aware, be prepared and be safe when it comes to severe weather situations.

Share your weather photos and videos with us on Facebook, Twitter and other social platforms using #BeOn13.

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April Stevens is a multi-platform producer at WZZM 13. Have a news tip? Email, visit our Facebook page or Twitter.