How to be prepared for a severe weather event

By  | 

WAUSAU, Wis. (WSAW) As severe weather season continues into September, emergency responders are reminding you now is the time to prepare.

While not in an especially tornado-heavy part of the United States, Wisconsin still experiences, on average, 23 tornadoes per year. The Wisconsin Department of Health Services reports the high winds and severe storms that accompany tornadoes pose serious health hazards.

As in any severe weather event, emergency responding agencies will help to handle injuries and structure damage, but Wausau Firefighter Brad Ludwig said making sure your own household is prepared can make all the difference.

"When the whistle blows or the message comes across the air, you want to be ready. You don't want to panic at that point. Run through a drill if you have to with your family and your kids. Make sure everyone is safe that way."

Some basic tips for storm preparedness include: have a predesignated place in mind to take shelter, store a gallon of water per person in your household, keep batteries or portable phone chargers on hand, and have a first aid kit. In addition, if you find yourself in an emergency Ludwig has some tips.

"Stay calm, just like anything. Call 911. Tell them what's going on. We'll be there. We'll try to get there as soon as you can. Unless the house is burning or actually on fire. I'd stay in the house where it's safe" he said.

If you're looking for more ways to prepare visit any of the following online resources:

https://www.redcross.org/get-help/how-to-prepare-for-emergencies/types-of-emergencies/thunderstorm.html

https://www.ready.gov/build-a-kit

https://www.dhs.wisconsin.gov/preparedness/resources.htm

https://www.fema.gov/media-library/resources-documents/collections/344