Thursday is Wisconsin’s Statewide Tornado Drill

Reserve 15 minutes to practice your tornado & severe weather safety plans at 1:45 p.m. or 6:45 p.m.
Published: Apr. 15, 2021 at 8:30 AM CDT|Updated: Apr. 15, 2021 at 10:42 AM CDT
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MADISON, Wis. (WMTV) - Severe Weather Awareness Week continues Thursday with Tornado Safety & Wisconsin’s state-wide tornado drill.


Wisconsin’s statewide tornado drill will occur on Thursday, April 15th at 1:45 p.m. and 6:45 p.m. During this time, Wisconsinites are encouraged to review and practice their severe weather/tornado plan. Many towns sound their sirens for the drill.

This year, an EAS tone WILL NOT sound over TV/radio stations or on your mobile phone. NOAA Weather Radios will still carry the test.

According to the National Weather Service, Wisconsin averages 23 tornadoes per year. As a matter of fact, more tornadoes have been reported in Dane County than any other county in Wisconsin. While that is due in large part to population size, southern Wisconsin sees more severe weather on average than the rest of the Badger State.

That’s why it’s important to ask yourself “Am I Storm Ready?”


Build an emergency kit & have a communication plan with your family. Make sure you have a plan for your pet, too!

When severe weather is forecast, stay with NBC15 for the latest updates. Download the free NBC15 Weather app to receive severe weather alerts & to track the storms with the interactive radar. Know your safe place ahead of time (see below).


Indoors | Put as many walls between you & the outdoors. Avoid Windows.

Go to the lowest level of your home or workplace via staircase. Stay away from windows and large rooms with lightly-supported roofs (gymnasiums, warehouses, etc.) Get down low to the ground and cover your head & neck. Get under a sturdy piece of furniture if its available. If you have time, grab pots/pans, mattress, or a heavy blanket for additional protection.

Outdoors | Get inside if you can; If not, don’t try to outrun the tornado.

If you’re caught outside and can’t get to safe shelter, find a ditch or ravine to take shelter in. Lie flat - covering your head & neck. Use a coat or blanket for additional protection. Flying debris is a killer during severe weather. When outside, it’s all about reducing your surface area (hence lying down flat). Do not take shelter underneath a bridge or overpass! You’re much safer in a low, flat location.


Listen to local authorities for updated information.

Before heading out, make sure you’re wearing thick-soled shoes & remain aware while moving about the damage.

Watch out for fallen power lines or broken utility lines.

Wear thick-soled shoes, long pants, and work gloves if doing clean-up.

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