Tornado & Severe Weather Awareness Week

Are you and your family ready for the storms?  Tornadoes and severe weather are guaranteed every Wisconsin spring and summer.  Preparing now could save your life and the lives of loved ones.

Here are some Severe Weather Fast Facts from the National Weather Service and Wisconsin Emergency Management:

  • Wisconsin averages 21 tornadoes annually.
  • 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 January 7, 2008 storms near Kenosha.
  • Tornados can occur anytime during the day or night, but are most frequent between 4pm and 9pm.
  • Know what we know! Everyone should have an emergency weather radio in their home, office, and school. That way you’ll get the severe weather warnings as soon as we have it here at Wisconsin Emergency Management and the National Weather Service.

Visit redcrossstore.org to see our emergency weather radios.

For the Red Cross Tornado Safety Checklist, click here.

Severe Weather Awareness Week: Tips and Technology from WLUK FOX 11

Inside the National Weather Service

Good Day Wisconsin weekend meteorologist Doug Higgins joined Jeff Last of the National Weather Service for a look at the technology used in forecasting severe weather. Click HERE for video of story.

Interested in becoming a storm spotter?  Learn how at an upcoming class.  Here’s the schedule: 

+ April 27 7 pm, UW-Green Bay, MAC Hall 210
+ April 29th 6:30 pm,Oshkosh, Coughlin Building 625 E County Rd Y
+ May 6th 6 pm, Wautoma, Fire Dept. 568 S. Fair St.

Prepare Now to Stay Safe During a Tornado

According to the National Weather Services, Wisconsin averages 21 tornadoes a year and the Northeast Wisconsin Region of the American Red Cross wants you and your loved ones to stay safe should a tornado hit your area.  

To remind people of the dangers associated with tornadoes, thunderstorms, flooding and hail, Governor Doyle has proclaimed April 19-23, 2010 as Tornado and Severe Weather Awareness Week in Wisconsin.

 “At the Red Cross, we hope that this week encourages people to take protective safety measures if a tornado or severe weather should occur.” said Regional Executive Director Steve Hansen. “We recommend that everyone take the following steps to be prepared: Get a plan; Make a kit; Be Informed.”

Prepare a home tornado plan

  • Pick a place where family members could gather if a tornado is headed your way. It could be your basement or, if there is no basement, a center hallway, bathroom, or closet on the lowest floor. Keep this place uncluttered.
  • If you are in a high-rise building, you may not have enough time to go to the lowest floor. Pick a place in a hallway in the center of the building.

Assemble a Disaster Supplies Kit

  • First aid kit and essential medications.
  • Canned food and can opener.
  • At least three gallons of water per person.
  • Protective clothing, bedding, or sleeping bags.
  • Battery-powered radio, flashlight, and extra batteries.
  • Special items for infant, elderly, or disabled family members.
  • Written instructions on how to turn off electricity, gas, and water if authorities advise you to do so. (Remember, you’ll need a professional to turn natural gas service back on.) 

 Stay tuned for storm warnings

  • Listen to your local radio and TV stations for updated storm information.
  • Know what a tornado WATCH and WARNING means:
    • A tornado WATCH means a tornado is possible in your area.
    • A tornado WARNING means a tornado has been sighted and may be headed for your area. Go to safety immediately.
  • Tornado WATCHES and WARNINGS are issued by county.

Tornado WATCH is issued

  • Listen to local radio and TV stations for further updates.
  • Be alert to changing weather conditions. Blowing debris or the sound of an approaching tornado may alert you. Many people say it sounds like a freight train.

Tornado WARNING is issued

  • If you are inside, go to the safe place you picked to protect yourself from glass and other flying objects. The tornado may be approaching your area.
  • If you are outside, hurry to the basement of a nearby sturdy building or lie flat in a ditch or low-lying area.
  • If you are in a car or mobile home, get out immediately and head for safety (as above).

After a tornado

  • Watch out for fallen power lines and stay out of the damaged area.
  • Listen to the radio for information and instructions.
  • Use a flashlight to inspect your home for damage.
  • Do not use candles at any time.

For more information on tornadoes and other preparedness tips, check out the Preparedness section of redcross.org.

The Northeast Wisconsin American Red Cross is a regional grouping of six chapters serving 19 counties with a mission to prevent, prepare for and respond to disasters throughout the East Central Wisconsin, Fond du Lac County, Lakeland, Manitowoc/Calumet, Neenah-Menasha and Outagamie Chapters. To learn more about Red Cross programs, volunteer opportunities, and how you can help, contact the Northeast region at 920-231-3590 or visit www.newredcross.org