While not in an especially tornado-heavy part of the United States, Wisconsin still experiences, on average, 23 tornadoes per year. The high winds and severe storms that can accompany tornadoes pose serious health hazards to the people of Wisconsin.
Most tornado damage is caused by violent winds, and many injuries and deaths result from flying debris.
In homes and small buildings, go to the basement or to an interior part on the lowest level such as closets, bathrooms or interior halls. Get under something sturdy.
Do not leave the building until the storm has passed.
In schools, nursing homes, hospitals, factories, and shopping centers, go to pre-designated shelter areas. Interior hallways on the lowest floor are usually best.
Avoid auditoriums, gymnasiums, or other structures with wide, free-span roofs.
In high-rise buildings, go to interior small rooms or hallways.
In vehicles or mobile homes, leave them and go to
a substantial structure. If there is no shelter nearby, lie flat in the nearest ditch, ravine, or culvert with your hands shielding your head.
In open country, lie flat in the nearest ditch or ravine with your hands shielding your head.
Note: Take a portable radio and flashlight with you when taking shelter.
*WISCONSIN TORNADO FACTS*
Season: Wisconsin’s tornado season generally runs from April through September. The greatest numbers of tornadoes have occurred in May, June, and July. Wisconsin averages more than 20 tornadoes per year, although in 2005, there were more than 60 tornadoes in our state.
Time of day: The majority of tornadoes have struck during mid-afternoon or early evening (3 p.m. to 7 p.m.). However, tornadoes may strike at any time, potentially with little or no warning. The devastating Barneveld / Black Earth twister occurred around 1 a.m., without warning.
Movement: Tornadoes usually move from the southwest to the northeast; however, direction of travel may be erratic and change suddenly.