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Severe Weather Awareness

Severe Weather Awareness

Tornado and Severe Weather Awareness Week in Wisconsin will take place April 8-12 this year. This annual campaign encourages everyone to prepare for tornadoes and severe storms the state frequently experiences during the spring and summer months. It is also an opportunity to participate in the statewide tornado drills at 1:45 p.m. and 6:45 p.m. on April 11.

Emergency Action Plans

Find out what you can do before severe weather strikes. Preparation is key to staying safe and minimizing impacts.

  • Be Weather-Ready: Check the forecast regularly to see if you're at risk for severe weather. Listen to local news or a NOAA Weather Radio to stay informed on severe thunderstorm watches and warnings. Check the Weather-Ready Nation for tips.
  • Sign Up for Notifications: Know how your community sends warnings. Some communities have outdoor sirens. Others depend on media and smart phones to alert residents to severe storms.
  • Create a Communications Plan: Have a family plan that includes an emergency meeting place and related information. Pick a safe room in your home such as a basement, storm cellar or an interior room on the lowest floor with no windows. Get more ideas for a plan at:
  • Practice Your Plan: Conduct a family severe thunderstorm drill regularly so everyone knows what to do if damaging wind or large hail is approaching. Make sure all members of your family know where to go when severe thunderstorm warnings are issued. Don't forget pets if time allows.
  • Prepare Your Home : Keep trees and branches trimmed near your house. If you have time before severe weather hits, secure loose objects, close windows and doors, and move any valuable objects inside or under a sturdy structure.
  • Help Your Neighbor: Encourage your loved ones to prepare for severe thunderstorms. Take First Aid/CPR training so you can help if someone is hurt during severe weather.

National Weather Service

Tornado Safety

The National Weather Service will issue a Tornado Watch/Warning when severe weather or tornadoes are approaching Eau Claire County.

Tornado Watch

A Tornado Watch/Severe Weather Watch is issued by the National Weather Service when conditions are favorable for the development of tornadoes/severe weather in and close to the watch area.  During the watch, people should review tornado safety rules and be prepared to move to a place of safety if threatening weather approaches.  Faculty, students, and staff are expected to take the following action.

  1. Be alert to changing weather conditions and know the difference between a tornado watch and a tornado warning. A tornado watch means conditions are favorable for severe weather.
  2. Use all available means to find out more emergency or severe weather information including: Radio, Television, Weather alert radio, and Internet Services, etc.
  3. Communicate information to other students and staff.
Tornado Warning
  1. A tornado warning means severe weather, or a tornado is occurring. Eau Claire County Siren System will be activated (this alarm activates when conditions exist anywhere in Eau Claire County).
  2. Follow the directions of persons designated to provide emergency instructions.
  3. Proceed to a place designated as a TORNADO SHELTER and do not leave this area until it is safe. The national weather service will not issue an “All Clear”. The storm notification will be canceled when the storm is no longer a risk.
  5. If persons with disabilities cannot safely move to the lowest level, assist them to an interior hallway away from windows.
  6. Protect your head and face. If possible, get under a table or other sturdy structure.
  7. If you are working in or near another building on campus where you are unsure of “tornado shelter” areas: 
    • Go to the basement or a small interior room of the building.
    • Stay away from all windows and exterior doors.
    • Avoid rooms with large roofs such as auditoriums, gymnasiums, or similar large rooms and avoid the top floor of a building if there is a lower level.
    • If you are outside during a tornado warning and do not have time to move inside for shelter, try to find a ditch or other low spot below grade level where you can lie.  If you are on flat ground and are caught in the path of a tornado, always move at right angles to its path.
    • Do not stay in any vehicle if possible.  Do not try to outrun a tornado in a vehicle.
    • Remain calm and quiet.
  8. Be alert to dangerous conditions that may exist after an all-clear signal, such as:
    • Severe thunderstorm conditions may persist including heavy rain, lightning, high winds, and hail.
    • Downed electrical lines, gas leaks, broken glass, or structural damage to buildings may be a threat to safety.
    • Downed tree limbs and other vegetative damage which may be a hazard to navigate.


Make sure you are familiar with workplace emergency procedures and always be prepared to act in an emergency. Have a safety plan for your workplace or for outside of work hours as emergencies can occur any time of the day or night.