Wisconsin holds statewide tornado drills

Wisconsin holds statewide tornado drills
Published: Apr. 21, 2023 at 10:22 PM CDT
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MADISON, Wis. (WMTV) - Wisconsin held its annual statewide tornado drill Friday to prepare residents for tornadoes and severe storms this spring.

Wisconsin Emergency Management used the drills as a way to remind people across the state what to do if severe weather hits their area.

Andrew Beckett, the public information officer for WEM, said the key is to have a plan.

“It’s important to take a day to review those plans and make sure people know what they need to do, whether they’re at home, work or school,” Beckett said.

Beckett said an important part of that plan is knowing where to shelter in place.

“The first and foremost is going to be knowing where your shelter location is or where you are at that time,” Beckett said. “If it’s at home, you really want to look at going to a basement or a ground floor interior room that puts as much distance between you and the outside as possible.”

Schools across Wisconsin took part in the drills. Stoughton Area School District safety coordinator Kyle Smith said it’s important to make sure everyone is on the same page.

”Our community in Stoughton has had a couple of tornadoes relatively recent,” Smith said. “We want to make sure that everyone is prepared including the staff, students, and then that everybody is safe and we go home at the end of the day.”

To stay prepared, Beckett said everyone should always have a way to be alerted of severe weather.

“You want to make sure you have something like a weather radio or wireless emergency alerts enabled on your cell phone so that if a tornado warning were to be issued, you would get an alert exactly where you are at that point in time.”

The statewide drills were originally scheduled for Thursday, April 20 but were postponed to Friday due to the threat of severe weather.

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