Oklahoma tornado outbreak is a reminder to be ready

MADISON (WITI) -- People across Wisconsin are brokenhearted over the lives lost and damage caused by the massive tornado in Moore, Oklahoma.

What can you do? ReadyWisconsin (part of the team at Wisconsin Emergency Management) urges everyone to Listen, Act and Live! 

“The takeaway from this tragedy is that everyone needs a sense of urgency. When you hear the warnings, take action immediately. It is critical that we’re all ready for severe storms and tornadoes”, says Tod Pritchard, Wisconsin Emergency Management. “You may only have minutes to react and seek shelter. Don’t waste time.”

Listen: When severe weather is possible (Thunderstorm or Tornado Watch issued) select a credible source of information and keep in touch with that source until the danger has past. One of the best tools is a NOAA Weather Radio (also known as an Emergency Weather Radio). Use this time to review your family, school and business emergency plans so everyone knows where to seek shelter.

Act: When you hear a Tornado Warning (tornado seen by spotters on the ground or detected on radar) seek the best shelter you can find immediately. Don’t waste time checking multiple sources of information. You may have only seconds to find a safe place.

Live: Your chances of survival multiply by listening and acting quickly. Hopefully the storm will pass with no damage, but don’t risk your life on a hope.

This Memorial Day weekend is a great time to talk to your family about what to do in the event of severe storms and tornadoes. That includes designating a place to take shelter in your home, office and school. Find a spot in your basement where you can take cover under such as a table, work bench or stairs that can protect you from falling debris. You should also cover yourself with blankets or a mattress to protect again falling or flying debris. If you don’t have a basement, go to an interior room or closet in the house with no windows. Crouch down low and cover your head. If you are caught outside, seek shelter in a sturdy building.

How to Help: For those who want to help the Oklahoma tornado victims, please visit the webpages of the American Red Cross or Salvation Army to learn more.  Those organizations can then purchase supplies such as food, water and other items to help those in need.

For more information on tornado safety and storm preparedness, go to http://readywisconsin.wi.gov