Tornado and Severe Weather Awareness Week April 9-13

Governor Scott Walker has declared April 9-13 as Wisconsin’s Tornado and Severe Weather Awareness Week. According to the National Weather Service, Wisconsin averages 23 tornadoes annually. Last year, there were 23 tornado touchdowns in the state. While most were either EF0 or EF1, the state did record an EF3 on May 16, 2017. 

 

Here are some tornado safety tips from Ready Wisconsin: 

•In a home or building, avoid windows. Move to a basement and get under a sturdy table or the stairs. If a basement is not available, move 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 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.

On April 12 a mock tornado watch will be issued at 1 p.m. followed by a statewide mock tornado warning at 1:45 p.m. 

Many 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 many communities will sound their tornado sirens to test their emergency severe weather plans. Later, a mock tornado warning will be issued at 6:45 p.m. to give families and second shift workers a chance to practice their emergency plans.  

The tornado drill will take place even if the sky is cloudy, dark or rainy. If actual severe storms are expected in the state on Thursday, April 12, the tornado drills will be postponed until Friday, April 13, at the same times. If severe storms are possible Friday, the drills will be cancelled.