WI Tornado & Severe Weather Awareness Week April 13 – 17, 2020

Dark sky as a severe storm rolls in

Every spring there are state-sponsored tornado drills. These drills allow you to practice what you should do in the event of a real tornado watch or warning. A tornado watch means there are weather conditions in the area that could produce a tornado. A tornado warning means a tornado has been sighted somewhere in the area.

What is a tornado?

A tornado is as a rotating, funnel-shaped cloud that extends from a thunderstorm to the ground with extremely strong winds that can reach 300 mph. Damage paths of tornadoes can be in excess of one mile wide and 50 miles long. To learn more about tornadoes visit: https://www.nssl.noaa.gov/education/svrwx101/tornadoes/

What should I do in the event of a tornado?

If there is a tornado warning you should:

  • Go to the lowest level you can in the building
  • Take shelter in interior rooms or hallways (bathrooms or laundry rooms are best)
  • Avoid areas with windows and do not open any windows
  • Watches and warnings are also issued for severe thunderstorms and flash floods

Tornado siren tests

There are two different drills set for the Madison area on Thursday, April 16*.

  • At 1:00 p.m. a test tornado watch will be issued
  • At 1:45 p.m. a test tornado warning will be issued
  • There will be another drill for a tornado warning later that day at 6:45 p.m.

*In the event of severe weather – the drill could be postponed until Friday, April 17.

You are not required to participate in the drill or practice seeking shelter, but you are encouraged to at least review and find the best place for you to go in the case of real tornado. If you ever have any questions about what to do in severe weather or preparing for an emergency please contact our office (608) 262-3407 or email universityapartments@housing.wisc.edu.

Are you receiving Campus Emergency Notifications?

Did you know you can sign up to make certain you hear about campus emergencies? The UW Police Department has information about the WiscAlerts system, which has been used for weather, police, and health emergencies (such as a fire, or a chemical spill). You can sign up by visiting https://uwpd.wisc.edu/services/wiscalerts and entering your Wisc.edu username and password.

In addition to the messages that are sent via text, phones, and email, the UW Madison homepage will also have up to date information in case of any emergency. If you have a Twitter account, you can also sign up for emergency tweets: Tweets by @WiscAlerts.