Thursday, April 12, 2018

Tornado and Severe Weather Awareness Week

Gov. Scott Walker has declared April 9 to 13, 2018, as Wisconsin's Tornado and Severe Weather Awareness Week. Two tornado drills will occur on Thursday, April 12, at 1:45 p.m. and 6:45 p.m. The first drill is to help schools and businesses prepare for storm season. The second drill is an opportunity for families to create and review their emergency plans. Many communities will sound tornado sirens, and radio and TV stations will issue test tornado warnings.

According to the National Weather Service, on average, 23 tornadoes touch down in Wisconsin each year. We work to maintain a reliable power delivery system, but severe weather and other events sometimes cause power outages that require many hours and even days to resolve.

Be prepared and know what to do should a power outage occur. First, call the We Energies electric outage hotline at 800-662-4787 or report your outage online. Any information that you can provide about the source or scope of the outage will support our response efforts. Remember to stay at least 25 feet away from downed power lines or flooded areas, and stay out of flooded basements or rooms.

An emergency kit can help during an outage. Assemble the items you may need and keep them in a place that can be accessed easily in the dark.

Suggested items:
  • Flashlights and extra batteries 
  • Blankets 
  • Water: half gallon per day per person 
  • Canned or dried food 
  • Hand-operated can opener 
  • First-aid kit 
  • Prescription medications 
  • Specialty items for infants, seniors or disabled family members
If you have advance notice of severe storms or other conditions that may lead to extended power outages, consider taking additional precautions:
  • Set freezer and refrigerator colder to help food stay safe longer 
  • Fill vehicle gas tank (gas station pumps do not operate without power) 
  • Get cash (credit or debit cards may not work if power is out) 
  • Charge devices, especially cell phones; consider spare power 
  • Know emergency shelter locations 
  • Get bottled water, other supplies 
Other considerations: 
  • Battery backup for sump pump 
  • Solar power cellphone charger 
  • Generator to power important appliances 
  • Surge suppression devices for protection when power returns 
  • Card or board games to pass time 
  • Dry ice for refrigerator/freezer 
  • Frozen jugs of water 
  • Well-being of friends, neighbors and relatives 
Any changes to the mock tornado drill will be posted on the ReadyWisconsin website.

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