Late winter snow Snow may be on the ground but tornado warning sirens will be wailing across the state Thursday afternoon. It's a drill that could save your life.

Every year at this time the state coordinates a mock tornado drill. It starts with a statewide mock tornado watch at 1pm. Followed by a tornado warning every ten minutes in different parts of the state.

Lori Getter with the state Emergency Management office says the warning sirens will be sounded, the alerts will crawl across television screens and radio stations will issue a practice alert to make sure everything's working when the real thing hits.

Wisconsin averages twenty one tornadoes a year. Some have been deadly. That's why Getter says it's important to be prepared for a tornado that can swoop down at one in afternoon or one in the morning.

Emergency Management encourages families, businesses and schools to use this Tornado and Severe Weather Awareness week to develop a plan. Designate a shelter, stock up on supplies and get a battery powered NOAA Weather radio because all those TV alerts won't help when you're asleep.

Getter says technology has improved those weather radios so you won't be annoyed by warnings from locations two or three counties away. You can now program them to announce only the alerts that might affect you.

AUDIO: Jim Dick reports ( 1:01 MP3 )

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