For the City Times
To give families a chance to test their emergency plans, a statewide tornado drill will be held on April 14.
The drill is part of the annual spring severe weather campaign to encourage people to get ready for possible tornadoes and severe weather.
Governor Walker has declared April 11-15, 2016 as Wisconsin’s Tornado & Severe Weather Awareness Week. Wisconsin Emergency Management, the National Weather Service (NWS) and the Wisconsin Broadcasters Association (WBA) have once again teamed up to sponsor the statewide tornado drill scheduled for Thursday, April 14.
For the first time, a mock tornado warning will be issued at 6:55 PM on Thursday, April 14 to give families and businesses a chance to test their emergency severe weather plans. Earlier in the day, a mock tornado watch will be issued at 1 PM and a mock tornado warning will be issued at 1:45 PM. Many radio and TV stations across the state will issue the test tornado warnings.
In addition, mock alerts will be issued on NOAA Weather Radios and many communities will sound their tornado sirens. This process will also test the Portage County Community Alerts Program for the Tornado Warning times. If you have not yet signed up, you can sign up online before the Tornado Drill date.
According to the NWS, Wisconsin averages 23 tornadoes annually. Last year, there were 17 tornado touchdowns in the state. All of the tornadoes were either an EF0 or EF1. On August 19, 2015, two tornadoes touched down near Lake Geneva and Big Bend causing damage to area business. No one was injured. The statewide tornado drill is a great opportunity for schools, businesses and families to test their emergency plans about what to do and where to go when severe weather strikes.
The tornado drill will take place even if the sky is cloudy, dark and or rainy. If actual severe storms are expected in the state on Thursday, April 14, the tornado drills will be postponed until Friday, April 15 with the same times.
If severe storms are possible Friday the drills will be canceled.
Any changes will be issued to local media as well as posted on the ReadyWisconsin website. Updates will also be posted on Ready Wisconsin’s Facebook Page and Portage County Emergency Management’s Facebook Page, Twitter, and Instagram.