MADISON, Wis. – Governor Tony Evers is proclaiming April 4-8 as Tornado and Severe Weather Awareness Week in Wisconsin. ReadyWisconsin is encouraging every Wisconsinite to prepare for severe weather and tornadoes that occur during the spring and summer months.
“Severe weather can include several hazardous conditions produced by thunderstorms, such as damaging wind, tornadoes, hail, and flooding,” said Greg Engle, acting Wisconsin Emergency Management administrator. “Now is the time to be prepared, be aware, and be ready before a disaster occurs.”
Wisconsin averages 23 tornadoes per year. The National Weather Service confirmed 41 tornadoes touched down in Wisconsin in 2021. While the busiest time of year for tornadoes is typically during the spring and summer months, they can happen at any time of year. In December of last year, Wisconsin had 10 tornado touchdowns reported in a single day.
To stay safe from severe weather, ReadyWisconsin encourages people to do the following:
- Create an emergency plan and practice it.
- Know where designated shelters are located at home, work, and school, and be ready to go there when a tornado warning is issued.
- Have multiple ways to receive alerts about approaching severe weather. Outdoor warning sirens, a NOAA Weather Radio, local media, and smart phone apps are all important tools. Don’t rely on any single source for important life-saving information.
- If you have a mobile device, make sure it is enabled to receive Wireless Emergency Alerts. On many devices, that option is available in the settings menu.
- Keep up to date on the daily forecast for your area.
- Create an emergency kit for your home. Find tips for building a kit at https://readywisconsin.wi.gov
On April 7, Wisconsin will conduct its annual statewide tornado drill. At 1:45 p.m. and 6:45 p.m., everyone is encouraged to pause what they are doing and practice going to their designated shelter location. If there is severe weather expected anywhere in the state on April 7, the drill would be postponed to April 8. If you are unable to participate at those times, ReadyWisconsin encourages everyone to make time on the date of the drill to practice your plan.
During the drill times, the National Weather Service will conduct NOAA Weather Radio tests, which can be heard if actively listening to a weather radio at 1:45 p.m. and 6:45 p.m. Some communities may also choose to test their outdoor warning sirens during the drill times, so don’t be alarmed if you hear a siren on April 7!
“Being prepared for tornadoes and severe weather goes beyond Tornado and Severe Weather Awareness Week,” said Engle. “It’s a year-round effort, and how well you prepare for a disaster today can impact your ability to recover tomorrow.”
Share on social media how you’re participating by using the hashtag #TornadoDrillWI
A copy of Gov. Evers’ proclamation is available at https://readywisconsin.wi.gov/wp-content/uploads/Be_Informed/PDF/040422_Proclamation_Tornado_and_Severe_Weather_Awareness_Week.pdf.
For more tips on severe weather preparedness and advice on creating your own emergency plan, visit https://readywisconsin.wi.gov. You can also follow ReadyWisconsin on Facebook (https://facebook.com/ReadyWisconsin) and Twitter (https://twitter.com/ReadyWisconsin) for tips on emergency preparedness throughout the year!