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On Thursday, April 14, Winnebago County will participate in the statewide MOCK tornado drill. At approximately 1 p.m. a mock tornado watch will be in effect for all of Wisconsin. Between 1:10 p.m. and 1:15 p.m. a mock tornado warning will be issued by the National Weather Service for Winnebago County.

  • PLEASE NOTE: If severe weather is present in the state on this date, the drill will move to the same times on Friday, April 15. If Friday has severe weather, the drill will be canceled.

At the time the MOCK 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 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.

Campus procedures in the event of ACTUAL severe weather are:

Watches – When conditions are right, a severe weather watch may be issued. Continue with normal activities, but monitor the situation.

Warnings – When severe weather is imminent, a warning will sound. If severe weather approaches, be prepared to move to shelter.

  • Remain indoors and away from all windows until the severe storm passes.
  • If large hail begins to fall and you are outside, seek shelter immediately.
  • Report any injuries or damage by calling 911.
  • Be prepared to give the following information: name, building name, type of injury or damage, location of injured person(s) or building damage, and room number you are calling from.

Campus procedures in the event of ACTUAL tornado watches and warnings are:

Tornado Watch – The National Weather Service issues a tornado watch when conditions are favorable for the formation of a tornado. A watch does not mean that a tornado has been sighted; however, you should remain aware of current or changing local weather conditions.

When a tornado watch is issued:

  • University Police send an email tornado watch notice on the University-wide employee email list.
  • University Police call selected administrative offices that are responsible for passing information on to others in their area.
  • Advise staff, students and visitors of the tornado watch.
  • Monitor weather conditions locally by observation or via a local radio station.

Tornado Warning – A tornado warning is issued when a tornado has been spotted and people in its path are in danger. There will be no email or phone notice of a tornado warning from University Police. Tornado warnings are announced by the National Weather Service via radio and by local authorities via emergency service radios and Civil Defense warning sirens. In addition the University emergency notification system (clock- scrolling text/audio messages) will be activated if time permits. These are the only notices of a warning you will receive.

When a tornado warning is issued:

  • The emergency warning sirens will sound.
  • The University emergency warning system (clock-sign boards) will be activated.
  • Do not pull the fire alarm for tornado warnings.
  • Do not evacuate occupants of buildings.
  • Everyone should move from offices and classrooms to an interior hallway or the building designated tornado shelter area. If time permits, attempt to move to the lowest-possible level of the building.
  • Take cell phones, bottled water or soda with you, if available. Do not stop at vending machines to purchase these items while taking shelter.
  • Sit on the floor with your back to the interior wall.
  • Cover your head with your arms.
  • Stay as far away as possible from furniture, windows and exterior doors and exits.
  • Remain in the building unless told to evacuate by University Police or firemen.

Joseph LeMire, chief of police, emailed this announcement to all UWO students and employees. Faculty, staff and students are encouraged to contribute calendar items, campus announcements and other good news to UW Oshkosh Today.