Emergency management officials ask public to review severe weather plan

Published: Apr. 27, 2020 at 10:32 PM CDT
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Emergency management officials are asking the public to take a second look at their safety plan because it could change in the midst of COVID-19.

"In the state of Wisconsin we are no strangers to flooding or tornadoes," Christine Bellport, Wisconsin Emergency Management spokesperson said.

Bellport said adding COVID-19 to the mix creates new questions for severe weather preparation.

"Families should first and foremost ask the question 'Has COVID-19 impacted the way we're going to respond should severe weather hit?'" she said.

Officials said if severe weather strikes, sheltering options could change as many community shelters may be closed due to the pandemic response.

"Is your shelter that community building or government maintained building? Is it closed right now? Is it normally where you would take shelter?” Bellport said.

Officials said practicing safe social distancing is important, but that should not stop you from seeking shelter in severe weather.

If you're at home, Bellport said to take shelter in a room with no windows in the interior of the house or in the basement.

"Now’s a great time to talk to your family. What are your severe weather plans with your family?" she said.

Emergency management officials said the circumstances are different, but they stand ready to respond.

"We are prepared because unfortunately these are disasters we have seen before," she said.

Officials said to check your phones and make sure they're equipped to receive wireless emergency alerts (WEC) to stay updated with severe weather alerts.