A tornado drill is scheduled throughout Wisconsin for Thursday, April 24.
The National Weather Service will issue mock tornado watch at 1 p.m. for the entire state.
A tornado watch means tornadoes are possible. Residents in the watch area should remain alert for approaching storms.
At 1:45 p.m., the National Weather service will issue a mock tornado warning.
A tornado warning means that a tornado has been sighted or indicated on weather radar. Residents should move to a safe place immediately.
The tornado drill will end at 2 p.m.
The National Weather Service will conduct the drill even if the sky is cloudy, dark or rainy.
If actual severe storms are expected in the state on Thursday, April 24, the tornado drill will be postponed until Friday, April 25 with the same times. If severe storms are possible Friday, the drill will be cancelled.
Residents will be notified of any changes through local media as well as the ReadyWisconsin web page, Facebook and Twitter.
“This is a great opportunity for your school, business and community to practice your emergency plans,” said Eric Halverson, deputy director of Waupaca County Emergency Management.
It is also a good time for families to discuss how they will respond to an emergency weather event and identify the safest place to go within their home.
According to the American Red Cross, the safest place in a home during a tornado is in the basement.
If there is no basement, go to the smallest, windowless room or hallway on the lowest level of the structure.
Mobile homes are not safe during a tornado. Those living in mobile homes should go to a public shelter immediately.
Most local and state radio, TV and cable stations will be participating in the April 24 drill.
Television viewers and radio station listeners will hear a message at 1:45 p.m. indicating that “This is a test.” The mock tornado warning will last about one minute on radio and TV stations across Wisconsin and when the test is finished, stations will return to normal programming.
In addition, alerts for both the mock tornado watch and warning will be issued over NOAA weather alert radios.
“Every home and business should have a weather alert radio,” Halverson said. “A weather alert radio is like a smoke alarm for severe weather.”
Those who own them, should be sure their weather radio is turned on for this test. If the alarm on the weather radio does not go off for this test, check the radio’s programming and quality of reception.
Wisconsin averages 23 tornadoes annually. Last year, 16 tornadoes were reported in Wisconsin by the National Weather Service, including six during the night of Aug. 6-7.
The strongest tornado, rated EF2, hit near New London in Waupaca and Outagamie counties on Aug. 7. Two injuries occurred last year as a result of the tornadoes.