Listen, act and live! Those words could protect families during severe storm season. Listening to warnings and seeking shelter immediately will save lives. That’s why Wisconsin Emergency Management, ReadyWisconsin, the National Weather Service (NWS) and the Wisconsin Broadcasters Association have teamed up for Wisconsin’s Tornado and Severe Weather Awareness Week April 13-17, 2015.
Wisconsin averages 23 tornadoes annually. In 2014, 22 tornadoes were reported in Wisconsin by the NWS. Eighteen of those tornadoes occurred in June. The strongest tornado in 2014 occurred on June 17 when an EF 3 tornado hit Verona in Dane County. At least 30 homes were damaged as well as the Country View Elementary School. The tornado traveled about a mile, had wind speeds of 136 to 165 mph and was on the ground for several minutes. An EF 2 touched down that same night in Platteville in Grant County. Several homes and businesses were damaged, including the University of Wisconsin–Platteville.
In 2013, 16 tornadoes touched down in Wisconsin, including six tornadoes during the overnight hours of August 6-7. An EF 2 struck near New London in Waupaca and Outagamie counties, injuring two people and causing millions of dollars in damage.
On Thursday, April 16, 2015, a statewide tornado drill is planned. At 1 p.m., the National Weather Service will issue a statewide mock tornado watch and at 1:45 p.m. a statewide mock tornado warning. Many radio and TV stations will participate in the drill. In addition, NOAA weather radios (also known as emergency weather radios) will issue alert messaging. This is an ideal opportunity for schools, businesses and families to practice safe procedures for severe weather.
Important: The tornado drill will take place even if the sky is cloudy, dark and/or rainy. If actual severe storms are expected in the state on Thursday, April 16, the tornado drill will be postponed until Friday, April 17, with the same times. If severe storms are possible Friday, the drill will be cancelled. Any changes will be issued to local media as well as posted at readywisconsin.wi.gov, Facebook and Twitter pages.
For more information, visit Oneida County Emergency Management at http://www.co.oneida.wi.gov/docs_by_cat_type.asp?doccatid=319&locid=184 or go to readywisconsin.wi.gov.