Wisconsin Emergency Management (WEM)
WEM efforts are coordinated with local, state, tribal and federal agencies, as well as volunteer and private sector partners. We support 72 Wisconsin counties and bring emergency management services to the state's 5.6 million citizens.
Our central office is located in Madison and we have six regional offices that provide local support.
Emergency Management News
Governor Scott Walker Declares State of Emergency for Bayfield and Douglas Counties
Governor Scott Walker has issued Executive Order #103 declaring a state of emergency in response to a forest fire, which has destroyed more than 9,000 acres in Bayfield and Douglas Counties.
“Tonette and I send our prayers and concern to the people who have lost property and those who have been evacuated because of this forest fire,” Governor Walker said. “As we continue to closely monitor the situation, I want to thank our first responders, the Wisconsin National Guard, Wisconsin Emergency Management, and the Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources (DNR) for their work battling this forest fire. I also would like to thank the States of Minnesota and Michigan, the U.S. Forest Service, and the Province of Ontario for their assistance.”
Thus far, 47 structures have been lost, including 17 homes, 15 garages, 9 outbuildings, and 6 others. Firefighters from 37 fire departments have saved 77 structures, including 42 homes. No injuries have been reported, and the cause of the fire is currently under investigation. The forest fire, known as “The Germann Road Fire,” is the largest in Wisconsin since the Oak Lake Fire that burned over 11,400 acres in Washburn County on April 22, 1980.
The Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources has established a telephone hotline. Residents who believe their property may be potentially impacted by the forest fire are urged to call (715) 376-4185. This number will connect residents to Incident Command, where staff are prepared to update them. Residents wishing to visit their property must be escorted, and these site visits can be arranged by calling the hotline.
Governor Walker plans to tour the affected area and visit with first responders and local officials tomorrow at the Gordon Fire Hall with Adjutant General Donald Dunbar, DNR Secretary Cathy Stepp, and Wisconsin Emergency Management officials. For additional information regarding The Germann Road Fire, please visit: http://dnr.wi.gov/topic/ForestFire/GermannRoadFire.html.
A copy of Governor Walker’s executive order is attached.
|Link to Executive Order 103|
Update on Germann Road Fire
A significant wildfire began southwest of the Township of Barnes in Douglas County in the evening of May 14, 2013, eventually consuming over 9,000 acres and destroying several dozen structures. To find out the latest on the Germann Road Fire and fire danger across the state - please go to the WI Department of Natural Resources website.
Testing Wisconsin’s Emergency Communications
“SIMCOM” in Jefferson County on May 16, 2013
Communications are critical during a disaster. Getting information and data to the right people at the right time can save lives. That’s why Wisconsin Emergency Management, Jefferson County Emergency Management and the Wisconsin National are hosting a multi-agency communications exercise.
State Interoperable Mobile Communications Exercise or "SIMCOM 2013" will be held Thursday, May 16 from 8:30am to 3pm at the Jefferson County Fair Park. The exercise is designed to display, educate and test Mobile Emergency Communications from federal, state, tribal and local governments. The goal is to develop relationships and understand the capabilities of other agencies before they are needed in a real emergency.
This year’s event will feature an exercise with challenging simulated emergency messages and tasks which will provide a true test of interoperable communications.
Media interested in covering this event should contact Tod Pritchard at 608-219-4008 for more information.
|Link to .PDF release|
NOAA Emergency Radios Save Lives
“Listen, Act and Live!”
May 8, 2013 is NOAA Weather Radio All Hazards Awareness Day. The campaign encourages Wisconsin residents to own a NOAA All Hazards Alert Weather Radio, a 24-hour source of weather forecasts, watches, warnings, and non-weather emergency information provided by the National Weather Service and its parent agency, the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA).
“NOAA emergency weather radios save lives”, says Tod Pritchard, Wisconsin Emergency Preparedness Coordinator. “The early warning of possible danger gives you and your family time to act and stay safe.” Pritchard adds this reminder, “Listen, Act and Live! Listen to the weather radio warnings and take action right away. You’ll have a much better chance of surviving disaster.”
Weather radios are “smoke detectors for danger.” A NOAA Weather Radio with an alarm and battery back-up is one of the best ways to protect your family, especially at night when the alarm feature can wake you up during severe weather and give you and your family time to seek appropriate shelter. If there is no severe weather or emergency your radio can be switched to a silent, stand-by mode.
ReadyWisconsin profiles people who survived tornadoes thanks to an emergency weather radio. You can see those profiles at http://readywisconsin.wi.gov
The NOAA Weather Radio All Hazards network started in 1972 and is the sole government-operated radio system to provide direct warnings for all hazardous conditions that pose a threat to lives and property. There are 37 stations that broadcast weather and hazards information to the residents of Wisconsin, and over 1,000 stations nationwide.
Weather radios come in many sizes, with a variety of functions and costs. They can be purchased at most electronic stores. Most weather radio receivers are either battery-operated portables or AC-powered desktop models with battery backup. The portable weather radios are an important item to take along when you are enjoying the outdoors such as camping and boating. Many receivers have digital technology called Specific Area Message Encoding (SAME) that allows users to program their radios to alarm only for hazardous conditions that affect their county.
For additional information about weather radios including real life stories of Wisconsin residents who survived a tornado thanks to the early warning from an emergency weather radio, go to http://readywisconsin.wi.gov. You’ll also find a Q & A section with the most asked questions about emergency weather radios. For more information contact Emergency Preparedness Coordinator Tod Pritchard at: email@example.com.
|Link to .PDF release|
Listen, Act and Live! 2013 WI Tornado & Severe Weather Awareness
Listen, Act and Live! Those words could protect you and your family during severe storm season. Listening to warnings and seeking shelter immediately will save lives.
Did you know that… • Wisconsin averages 23 tornadoes annually. • Last year, only 4 tornadoes were reported in Wisconsin by the NWS. The strongest tornado in 2012 hit near Patch Grove in Grant County on September 4. No fatalities or injuries were reported. • In 2011, 38 tornadoes in Wisconsin were confirmed by the NWS, the fourth highest number on record. On August 19, a man was killed when a tornado with winds of 105 mph struck Marinette County. • The peak tornado season in Wisconsin is April to August, but tornadoes can occur any time of year, like the January 7, 2008 storms near Kenosha.
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