Wisconsin Emergency Management (WEM) officials designated the week of April 16-20 as Tornado and Severe Weather Awareness Week in Wisconsin.
During Tornado and Severe Weather Awareness Week, schools, homes and businesses are asked to go over the procedures needed when severe weather strikes to ensure that staff, students and employees are prepared.
According to WEM, Wisconsin averages 23 tornadoes annually. Last year, 38 tornadoes in Wisconsin were confirmed by the National Weather Service (NWS), and eight of those were rated as strong (EF2 or EF3). The strongest tornado, rated EF3, affected the Merrill area in Lincoln County on April 10.
However, even the weaker tornadoes can be damaging and deadly. One person was killed during an EF1 tornado that hit Wausaukee in Marinette County on August 19 last year. In addition, an EF2 tornado hit the south side of La Crosse on May 22 and damaged over 100 homes and businesses.
What can you do?
- Listen: When severe weather is possible (Thunderstorm or Tornado Watch issued) pick a credible source of information and keep in touch with that source until the danger has past. One of the best tools is a NOAA Weather Radio (also know as an Emergency Weather Radio). Click here for more information on NOAA Weather Radios
- Act: When you hear a tornado warning (tornado seen by spotters or detected on radar) seek the best shelter you can find immediately. Don’t waste time checking multiple sources of information. You may have only seconds to find a safe place. Click here for more information on best shelter
- Live: Your chances of survival multiply. Hopefully the storm will pass with no damage. But don’t risk your life on a hope.