Wisconsin’s Tornado & Severe Weather Awareness Week is Here

The Kenosha County Sheriff’s Department offers the following tips for Tornado Safety at home, work and play:

  • Avoid windows in a home or building. Move to the basement and get under a sturdy table or the stairs. If a basement is not available, mvoe to a small interior room or hallway on the lowest floor and cover yourself with towels, blankets, or pillows. If possible, get under a sturdy table, desk or counter. Put as many walls as possible to get between you and the storm. Wearing a bike helmet will help protect your head.
  • If outdoors, seek shelter in a sturdy building. If you cannot get to shelter, stay in your vehicle with the seatbelt on and place your head below the windows. Do not seek shelter under an overpass.
  • Mobile homes, even if tied down, offer little protection from tornadoes. You should leave a mobile home and go to the designated storm shelter or the lowest floor of a sturdy nearby building.
  • At school, go to the interior hall or room. Crouch low, head down, and protect the back of your head with your arms. Stay away from windows and large open rooms like gyms and auditoriums.

Monday, April 17, is the start of Wisconsin’s Tornado & Severe Weather Awareness Week, which will go to April 21, as declared by Governor Scott Walker.

Schools, businesses, families, and individuals have two opportunities to test their emergency plans during statewide tornado drills on April 20.

Wisconsin Emergency Management, the National Weather Service (NWS) and the Wisconsin Broadcasters Association (WBA) have teamed up to sponsor the drills.

According to the NWS, Wisconsin averages 23 tornadoes annually. Last year, there were 16 tornado touchdowns in the state, either an EF0 or EF1. 

A mock tornado watch will be issued at 1 p.m. April 20, followed by a statewide mock tornado warning at 1:45 p.m. Radio and TV stations across the state will issue the test tornado warnings. In addition, mock alerts will be issued on NOAA Weather Radios and a number of communities will sound their tornado sirens to test their emergency severe weather plans. At 6:45 p.m. a mock tornado warning will be issued to give families and second shift workers a chance to practice their emergency plans.

According to the NWS, Wisconsin averages 23 tornadoes annually. Last year, there were 16 tornado touchdowns in the state, either an EF0 or EF1.

If actual severe storms are expected on April 20, the tornado drills will be postponed until Friday, April 21 with the same times. If severe storms are possible Friday, the drills will be cancelled.

Updates will be posted on the Ready Wisconsin website at http://readywisconsin.wi.gov.

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