Should you have any questions relating to severe weather and siren activation, please feel free to contact the Office of Emergency Management at (262) 473-0570 or visit one of the web sites relating to the National Weather Service. Siren testing notices are posted in the local paper and on the local televesion station.
Nationally, floods claim nearly 200 lives annually, force 300,000 persons from their homes, and cause property damage in excess of 2 billion dollars. When driving do not cross through high water. Two feet of running water is enough to carry away most vehicles. Fifty percent of flash flood deaths occur in vehicles.
Lightning can injure people and in some instances can result in death. Myth: If it is not raining there is no danger from lightning. Fact: Lightning may occur as far as 10 miles away from any rainfall. Myth: Rubber tires on a vehicle will protect you from being injured by lightning. Fact: Rubber provides no protection from lightning. However, the steel frame of a vehicle acts as a cage and routes the lightning strike to the ground.
The typical thunderstorm is 15 miles in diameter and lasts an average of 30 minutes. Thunderstorms can produce a strong out rush of wind known as a downburst or straight-line winds which may exceed 120 mph. They can overturn mobile homes, tear roofs off houses and topple trees.
Hail annually causes nearly one billion dollars in damage nationally. Many of the losses are incurred by farmers. Large hailstones fall at speeds faster than 100 mph and have been known to kill people.
The National Weather service considers a thunderstorm to be severe if it produces hail 3/4 inch or larger, wind 58 mph or stronger, or tornadoes. Watches are issued when conditions are favorable for tornadoes, severe thunderstorms or flash floods. If you are in a watch area, make plans to seek shelter if necessary. Warnings are issued when severe weather has been reported or is imminent. Seek shelter immediately if you are in or near the path of the storm. Warnings are issued by county names. Know the name of the county you live in and the counties that surround you. Sirens are meant to warn those who are outdoors. If you hear a siren, turn on a radio or TV to hear safety information and seek shelter immediately.