UPDATED 03/06/12 10:22 a.m.

CHICAGO (CBS) — Less than a week after a tornado killed six people in downstate Harrisburg, the State of Illinois held a drill in every county Tuesday morning.

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As WBBM Newsradio’s Regine Schlesinger reports, warning sirens blared statewide at 10 a.m. Tuesday as a test. One siren near the United Center ran for about 15 seconds, CBS 2 reports.

he siren test is conducted at 10 a.m. on the first Tuesday of every month, but this time, it was connected with tornado drill for all Illinois residents.

LISTEN: WBBM Newsradio’s Regine Schlesinger reports

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The drill was planned before the recent wave of killer tornadoes that raked Illinois, Indiana and other the past week, but officials say those twisters underscore the importance of being prepared.

Experts say if you’re at home when a tornado is approaching, get to the basement and take cover under a stairwell or a heavy piece of furniture. If you have no basement, head to an interior closet, hall or bathroom on the lowest floor and stay away from windows, and cover your head with pillows or sofa cushions.

Last year was a devastating one for tornadoes across the country – 1,700 nationwide and 550 lives lost. The year 2011 was the deadliest year for tornadoes since 1925.

This year is also off to a bad start statewide. The tornado in Harrisburg early this past Wednesday morning left six people dead and more than 100 injured, and destroyed dozens of homes and businesses.

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For more information on tornado safety and disaster preparedness, click here.