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Wisconsin's Severe Weather Awareness Week teaches safety through preparation

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Onalaska, WI (WXOW) - -

Wisconsin's Tornado and Severe Weather Awareness Week ends on Friday.

On Thursday, schools across the state participated in the campaign by holding tornado drills that aim to help them understand how to act in an emergency.

Disasters such as tornadoes don't always leave enough time to gather belongings and make an action plan. When tragedies do occur having an outline of steps to take can help keep you and your family safe.

In part of Tornado and Severe Weather Awareness Week schools across Wisconsin held fire drills to teach students what to do if an emergency occurs while in class.

The state also provides schools with information for students regarding what places are safe in certain emergencies and what a proper plan should include. With the unpredictable nature of severe weather, even the smallest details can make a difference.

"That's why being prepared is important because certain situations come with many unknowns." Todd Antony, Irving Pertzsch Elementary School principal describes, "So practicing these drills is essential to ensure the safety of the students which is what I tell the students is one of my primary jobs as the principal of the school," Antony concludes.

At school student's have people like Mr. Antony making plans to keep them safe in various scenarios, but that doesn't always mean kids have those same precautions at home.

The possible lack of safety plans encourages some schools to use Tornado and Severe Weather Awareness Week to teach students to not only make a plan with their parents, but to practice it just like they do in school.

"It's vitally important to have a plan, and more important to practice that plan until it becomes something that you will take immediate action towards, it's nothing that should it happen and happen in a hurry you will have a great time to prepare,"  Fire Chief Don Dominick of the Onalaska Fire Department explains.

"So pride in preparation, practice with a plan and make it instinctive," Dominick continues.

Chief Dominick also encourages Onalaska residents to sign up for what they call the Code Red Alert System.

Replacing tornado sirens in the City of Onalaska the system sends emergency notifications ranging from evacuation notices to missing child alerts directly to residents.

If you live in Onalaska and have not yet signed up for the code red system click here for more information.

MORE: Tornado and Severe Weather Awareness Week

Severe Weather Awareness Week: Severe Thunderstorms

Severe Weather Awareness Week: Flood Safety

Severe Weather Awareness Week: Tornado Safety

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