Press Release

Wisconsin Statewide Tornado Drill a go for Thursday, April 15


By - Apr 15th, 2021 07:04 am

MADISON, Wis. – With no expected risk of severe weather in Wisconsin on April 15, the state’s annual tornado drill will proceed as planned. Everyone in the state is invited to participate by going to their designated tornado shelter at 1:45 p.m. and 6:45 p.m. today, or during a time when they can safely practice.

The statewide drill will not include a mock tornado warning issued as a live code test of the Emergency Alert System. As a result, there will be no notification tone sounded on NOAA Weather Radios that are currently sent to silently monitor for alerts. The National Weather Service will issue a routine weekly test to weather radios during the drill times, which will display a test message on those devices and will only be audible if radios are currently turned on.

While some television and radio stations may break into coverage or display information on screen during the drill times, many may choose to address the drill during their regular local news programming instead.

In place of those alerts, ReadyWisconsin encourages people to set a reminder on their mobile device for the 1:45 p.m. and 6:45 p.m. drill times. They can also share how they are participating using the #TornadoDrillWI hashtag on social media.

Some communities may still choose to test their outdoor warning sirens during the drill times. However, it is expected many will instead rely on their regular testing schedules to ensure those devices are working properly. Check with local siren operators for information on whether they plan to test sirens today.

Whether at home, work, or school, it’s important to have a plan in place and to know where to go if a tornado warning is issued:

  • In a home or building, move to a pre-designated shelter, such as a basement, and get under a sturdy table or the stairs.
  • If a basement is not available, move to a small interior room on the lowest floor and cover yourself with anything close at hand: towels, blankets, pillows. If possible, get under a sturdy table, desk, or counter. Put as many walls as possible between you and the storm. Stay away from windows.
  • If caught outdoors, seek shelter in a sturdy building. If you cannot quickly walk to shelter, get into a vehicle, buckle your seatbelt and drive to the closest sturdy shelter. If flying debris occurs while you are driving, pull over and park. Now you have two options as a last resort:
    • Stay in the vehicle with the seatbelt on and place your head below the windows.
    • If you can safely get noticeably lower than the roadway, exit the vehicle and lie in that area, covering your head with your hands.
  • Never seek shelter under an overpass. They can create a wind tunnel that attracts debris during a tornado, putting you in danger.
  • Mobile homes, even if tied down, offer little protection from tornadoes. You should leave a mobile home and go to the designated storm shelter or the lowest floor of a sturdy nearby building.

For more tips on severe weather preparedness and advice on creating your own emergency plan, visit Follow ReadyWisconsin on Facebook ( and Twitter ( for tips on emergency preparedness throughout the year!

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