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Statewide Mock Tornado Watch, Warning Dills Thursday

On Thursday, April 19, a statewide drill is planned. At 1 p.m., the National Weather Service will issue a mock tornado watch and at 1:45 p.m. a statewide mock tornado warning. Radio, TV and cable stations across Wisconsin will participate.

Listen, act and live!

Those words could protect you and your family during severe storm season. Listening to warnings and seeking shelter immediately will save lives.

This week, April 16-20, is Tornado and Severe Weather Awareness Week in Wisconsin. And with the recent tornados in Oklahoma that claimed six lives fresh on everyone's minds, it's important to know the facts and be prepared.

Did you know that:

  • Wisconsin averages 23 tornadoes annually.
  • In 2011, 38 tornadoes in Wisconsin were confirmed by the National Weather Service, the fourth highest number on record. The earliest outbreak occurred on April 10. On Aug. 19, a man was killed when a tornado with winds of 105 mph struck Marinette County. Five others were injured in 2011
  • In 2010, 46 tornadoes in Wisconsin were confirmed by the National Weather Services, the second greatest yearly number on record. Fortunately, no one was killed but 22 were injured and the tornadoes caused nearly $30 million in property damage.
  • The peak tornado season in Wisconsin is April to August, but tornadoes can occur any time of year, like the Jan. 7, 2008 storms near Kenosha.

On Thursday, April 19, a statewide drill is planned. At 1 p.m., the National Weather Service will issue a mock tornado watch and at 1:45 p.m. a statewide mock tornado warning. For the first time ever, radio, TV and cable stations across Wisconsin will participate in the drill. And for the first time, NOAA Weather Radios (also known as Emergency Weather Radios) will be tested during the drill. This is an ideal opportunity for schools, businesses and individuals to practice safe procedures for severe weather.

Wisconsin Emergency Management, ReadyWisconsin and the National Weather Service have planned a series of special efforts to promote storm safety including:

  • A statewide TV public service campaign with tornado survivors urging everyone to have an emergency weather radio.
  • A statewide campaign urging everyone to “Listen, Act and Live!”. When you hear a tornado warning find the best shelter available immediately.
  • Ready Radio Days. ReadyWisconsin teams up with the National Weather Service and TV stations across the state to promote the use of emergency weather radios.
  • ReadyWisconsin Trivia Challenge with emergency weather radios as a prize. Go to http://readywisconsin.wi.gov to enter.
  • Daily safety tips and information on ReadyWisconsin Facebook and Twitter (www.facebook.com/readywisconsin or www.twitter.com/readywisconsin).

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