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
How To Help the Oklahoma Tornado Victims
Oklahoma Tornado Outbreak Reminds Everyone To Be Ready
People across Wisconsin are broken hearted over the lives lost and damage caused by yesterday's 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 that 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 or business emergency plan 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. You can also get statewide tornado watches and warnings by joining us on Facebook or Twitter.
|Link to .PDF release|
Get Ready for Severe Weather
As the Midwest gets pounded by severe weather and tornadoes, Wisconsin Emergency Management encourages families and businesses to own a NOAA All Hazards Alert Weather Radio. It provides 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
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|