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On Thursday, April 24 the University of Wisconsin Oshkosh—along with Winnebago County—will participate in the annual statewide tornado drill.

If severe weather is present in the state on this date, the drill will be postponed to Friday, April 25.

The Winnebago County Office of Emergency Management has relayed some basic information about what will occur between the drill’s 1 p.m. start and 2 p.m. conclusion:

  • 1 p.m. – National Weather Service issues a mock tornado watch for all of Wisconsin. A watch means tornadoes are possible in your area. Remain alert for approaching storms.
  • 1:45 p.m. – National Weather Service issues mock tornado warning (sirens) for all of Wisconsin. A warning means a tornado has been sighted or indicated on weather radar…move to a place of safety immediately. Please note time change—this is different from previous years.
  • 2 p.m. – END OF MOCK TORNADO WATCH/WARNING DRILL. An all-clear signal will not be issued.


At the time the watch and warning messages are transmitted, Winnebago County will broadcast simulated watch and warning messages to all schools, emergency agencies, radio and television stations, and all institutions that have warning receivers. The sirens will sound during the mock tornado warning portion of the drill.

All UW Oshkosh, faculty, staff and students should go to their designated shelter areas immediately or shelter in place if appropriate when the mock tornado warning is given. Visitors or customers should be asked to shelter with staff and students.  After five minutes, staff and students should return to their normal activities.