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The National Weather Service (NWS) has announced that Wisconsin will be participating in a 14-state project called “Impacted-Based Warnings” which takes the traditional tornado warning and breaks it down into 3-tiers. Tier-1 will be the most common type of warning and represents when a tornado is possible based on the radar data. Tier-2 represents a particularly dangerous situation and will represent a situation of expected damage that will promote urgency to seek immediate shelter. A Tier-3 will represent a potentially violent tornado and is most likely to produce devastating damage.
While outdoor warning sirens can be utilized for various types of notification, most citizens correlate their activation to Severe Weather. Regardless of their intent, outdoor warning sirens target those people who are outside by alerting them to GET IN and TUNE IN for more information. If you hear the siren, get inside and tune in to radio, TV or the internet for more information on why the siren is sounding so you can educate and empower yourself on how to respond.
An initial Tornado Warning has the potential to be upgraded and that information needs to be relayed to the public. St. Croix County has historically practiced a “Countywide” Notification System whereby all warning sirens were activated when the NWS placed St. Croix County under a severe weather warning. Switching to a “Quadrant Based” Notification System will allow us to focus our warnings in the areas that the NWS identifies. This should help to minimize the number of times that sirens are activated in an area of the County that’s unaffected by the storm.
In order to break the County up into quadrants, County Trunk E and County Trunk T will be the designated boundaries. Quadrant 1 will consist of the sirens in Hudson, North Hudson, Roberts and Hammond. Quadrant 2 will consist of sirens in Somerset (Village and Township), Star Prairie (Village and Township), New Richmond and Deer Park. Quadrant 3 will consist of sirens in Deer Park and Glenwood City. Quadrant 4 will consist of sirens in Woodville, Baldwin and Hammond. While the sirens located in Hammond and Deer Park will be assigned to multiple quadrants (because of their proximity to the quadrant boundaries) their sirens will only be activated once for each event (or tier upgrade).
There are currently 25-outdoor warning sirens within St. Croix County. While each siren is activated by the St. Croix County 9-1-1 Center, they are owned and maintained by their respective City, Village or Township. Because the target audience for warning sirens are those citizens who are outside, they should never be relied upon as a sole source for warnings. Citizens are encouraged to LISTEN, ACT and LIVE. LISTEN through a credible source of information like a NOAA weather radio. ACT when you hear of a severe weather warning to protect yourself and your loved ones. LIVE by understanding that your chances of survival increase significantly when you seek shelter.
Addition resources can be found at http://readywisconsin.wi.gov or through St. Croix County Emergency Support Services or by visiting us on our webpage: www.sccwi.us/sccess and our social media sites.