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As Wisconsin looks ahead to spring weather, Wisconsin Emergency Management and its partners at the National Weather Service want people to be ready for the possibility of tornadoes and severe storms. As part of those preparations, everyone in the state is encouraged to participate in statewide tornado drills scheduled for April 20 at 1:45 p.m. and 6:45 p.m. The annual drills will take place during Tornado and Severe Weather Awareness Week, which is April 17-21.

During the drill times, Wisconsin’s National Weather Service offices will conduct NOAA Weather Radio tests that can be heard only if you are actively listening to those devices or have one programmed to activate on test alerts. Many communities may choose to test their outdoor warning sirens during the drill times and local media may also put out messages to encourage people to participate.

Schools, businesses, and homes are encouraged to practice going to their nearest tornado shelter during the drills, as if there were an actual tornado warning in effect. Ideal shelter locations include a basement or ground floor interior room or hallway, located away from windows and exterior doors.

For more tips on tornado safety, visit ReadyWisconsin. If there is severe weather expected anywhere in the state on April 20, the drills would be postponed to April 21. If you are unable to participate at those times, ReadyWisconsin encourages everyone to pick another time on the date of the drill to practice your plan.