Tornado Awareness Week is more than a week away, but Tod Pritchard of Wisconsin Emergency Management says it’s certainly not too early for a deadly tornado to rear its ugly head in Wisconsin. “That’s what we’re really concerned about,” he says, considering the warmer than usual temps earlier than expected. “We could get tornadic activity any time; in fact, last year — it was April 10th last year — we had 15 tornadoes in central and northern Wisconsin.”
The best time to remember emergency plans is not in the midst of all that havoc. Pritchard suggests, if you’re getting together with your family this weekend, then that might be a great opportunity to discuss your emergency preparedness plans, including contact information for a relative not living at the same residence. “If you’re getting family and friends together for Easter, this is a great time to kind of talk about, you know, ‘what is our emergency plan? What do we do if a tornado is headed our way?’ And really just kind of talk it through.”
In 2011, 38 tornadoes were confirmed in Wisconsin by the National Weather Service — the fourth highest number on record, with the earliest outbreak on April 10th.
April 16-20, 2012 is Tornado and Severe Weather Awareness Week in Wisconsin, but emergency personnel are getting the word out early.
AUDIO: Jackie Johnson report 1:19