By Andrew Beckett
MADISON, Wis. – Following their postponement on Thursday due to the threat of severe weather in the state, Wisconsin’s annual tornado drills will proceed as planned today. Everyone is encouraged to take time today to review and practice their tornado and severe weather sheltering plans.
For the drills, the National Weather Service will conduct NOAA Weather Radio tests, which can be heard at 1:45 p.m. and 6:45 p.m. if your device is set to sound test alerts or if you are actively listening to a weather radio at those times. Some communities may choose to test their outdoor warning sirens during the drill times, which is a decision made on the local level.
Information will also be shared across social media or on-air by ReadyWisconsin, Wisconsin’s National Weather Service offices, and many participating television and radio stations across the state. ReadyWisconsin encourages everyone to set a calendar alert or alarm on their phones, to remind them to practice their plan today.
Whether at home, work, or school, it’s important to have a plan in place for what to do when severe weather is approaching.
· In a home or building, move to a pre-designated shelter, such as a basement, and get under a sturdy table or the stairs. A specially constructed “safe room” within a building offers the best protection.
· If a basement is not available, move to a small interior room on the lowest floor and cover yourself with anything close at hand: towels, blankets, pillows. If possible, get under a sturdy table, desk, or counter. Put as many walls as possible between you and the storm. Stay away from windows.
· If caught outdoors, seek shelter in a sturdy building. If you cannot quickly walk to shelter, get into a vehicle, buckle your seatbelt and drive to the closest sturdy shelter. If flying debris occurs while you are driving, pull over and park. Now you have two options as a last resort:
o Stay in the vehicle with the seatbelt on and place your head below the windows.
o If you can safely get noticeably lower than the roadway, exit the vehicle and lie in that area, covering your head with your hands. 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.
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), Twitter (https://twitter.com/ReadyWisconsin) and Instagram (https://instagram.com/ReadyWisconsin) for tips on emergency preparedness throughout the year!