I remember the first time I heard a tornado siren, I had no clue what was going on and ignored the siren altogether. I had assumed that the sound I was hearing was the siren of one of the many emergency vehicles that are on call but I couldn't have been more wrong. I was outside playing basketball in the pouring rain when my mom scooped me up, yelling at me for still being out there.

Those sirens I heard were Tornado sirens and as you can tell by the weather I described this was a real threat. The wind was whipping around, the rain was falling hard, and Kalamazoo was in trouble of having its second tornado touch down since 1980. Instead, the weather did eventually die down and no tornado came through the city, but I'll never forget that day. Yesterday was a day that could cause flashbacks for some as they heard the sirens all across the state of Michigan.

On Wednesday, March 20th, the state of Michigan ran a statewide emergency test on some of its equipment. Michigan's Severe Weather Awareness Week occurs annually from March 17 to March 23, as this test falls directly in the center of the week. Michigan tested its statewide and local tornado sirens to help businesses and families create a plan for an incoming tornado.

This is why you heard sirens yesterday, they were testing to make sure that the emergency equipment was functioning properly while also giving those in the state of Michigan a chance to prepare for a disaster as Michigan sees about 15 tornados a year. The sirens went off around 1 pm EST and many of the TV and Radio stations also sent out alerts during this time.

These Are The 10 Deadliest Tornadoes In Michigan's History

Here are some of the worst cases of tornadoes in Michigan’s history as the Lansing State Journal documents on their map

Michigan's Worst Natural Disaster: the 1953 Flint-Beecher Tornado

Tornados in 2023: States With the Most Property Damage

While states in 'Tornado Alley' may see a higher number of twisters, the number has little to do with total property damage. ConsumerAffairs recently looked at data from the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) and Statista to determine how many states tornadoes touched down in each state and compared that to the total estimated property damage in the same time period. Here's a look at Tornadoes in 2023: Ranking the States For Most Property Damage.

Gallery Credit: Scott Clow