MADISON — Gov. Tony Evers declared April 12-16 as Tornado and Severe Weather Awareness Week in Wisconsin. On Thursday, April 15, the Green County Sheriff’s Department will be activating the tornado sirens in all villages and cities in Green County at 1:45 p.m. and 6:45 p.m.
If there is severe weather that day the test will be postponed until Friday, April 16. Tanna McKeon, Green County Emergency Management Director encourages everyone to pause what they are doing and practice going to their designated shelter location. If a citizen can’t participate during these times, take a few minutes during a convenient time that day going over what to do in the event a tornado warning is issued.
One change people may notice this year is the drill will not include a mock tornado warning issued as a live code test of the Emergency Alert System. As a result, there will be no test alerts sounded on NOAA Weather Radios. While some television and radio stations may break into coverage or display information on screen during the drill times, many may choose to address the drill during their regular local news programming instead.
In place of those alerts, citizens can expect to see messages from ReadyWisconsin and its partners across social media at 1:45 p.m. and 6:45 p.m. that encourage everyone to participate in the drill. ReadyWisconsin also encourages people to add the drill times to their calendar to remind them to practice their plans on April 15. Share how you’re participating by using the hashtag #TornadoDrillWI on social media.
While most tornadoes occur during the spring and summer they can happen in any month and everyone needs to have a plan to stay safe during severe weather. Here are a few tips to get you ready:
● Create an emergency plan and practice it. Know where designated shelters are located at home, work and school, and be ready to go there when a tornado warning is issued.
● Have multiple ways to receive alerts about approaching severe weather. Outdoor warning sirens, a NOAA Weather Radio, local media and smart phone apps are all important tools. Don’t rely on any single source for important life-saving alerts.
● If you have a mobile device, make sure it is enabled to receive Wireless Emergency Alerts. On many devices, that option is available in the settings menu.
● Sign up for NIXLE to receive emergency information from the Green County Sheriff’s and Emergency Management Departments. Weather Warnings from the National Weather Service are also provided on this FREE Service.
● Keep up to date on the daily forecast for your area. It can help ensure you are ready for potential severe weather threats.
● Create an emergency kit for your home, with supplies such as food, water, a flashlight and first aid kit. Check out the Green County Emergency Management’s website at https://greencountyem.com. Under the “Be Prepared” button is lots of good planning resources such as Tips for Senior Citizens, Planning for your Pets, Emergency Planning for Persons with Functional Needs, Family Emergency Planning and much more.