It's already been an eventful year with tornadoes and severe weather across the United States, so let's take a look at how to be prepared in the Northland.  The most common severe weather we get here is severe thunderstorms, but there is always a chance of a tornado.  Remember last year near Solon Springs, WI?

Here's some eye opening facts from the National Weather Service (NWS) about Thunderstorms:

Lightning Kills 60 people each year, and causes 400 injuries.

Straight line winds can reach 125 mph and cause the same damage as a tornado

Hail causes 1 BILLION dollars in damage every year!

How should you prepare for a severe thunderstorm?  From the NWS:

Develop a plan for you and your family at home, work, school, and when

outdoors. The American Red Cross offers tips at:, and

the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) at:

Practice Your Plan

■ Know the risk for the area in which you live or visit. NWS warnings

identify locations in the path of approaching severe weather.

■ Have a Public Alert™ certified NOAA Weather Radio and battery backup

to receive warnings.

■ Discuss thunderstorm safety with all members of your household.

■ NWS watches and warnings are available on the Internet. Select and

bookmark your local NWS office from

■ Keep in mind that even though the weather may be calm at the time a

Tornado or Severe Thunderstorm Watch or Warning is issued for your

area, conditions can rapidly deteriorate and become life threatening.

Always heed warnings even if warnings issued for your area in the past

did not result in severe weather. Don’t gamble with your life.

■ Tornadoes and severe thunderstorms can and do occur at any location,

anytime of day or night, and anytime of year given the right atmospheric


■ Tune into your favorite radio or television weather information source for

severe weather watch and warning information.

■ If severe weather threatens, check on people who are elderly, very

young, or physically or mentally disabled.

■ Having a safe room in your home or small business can help provide

“near-absolute protection” for you and your family or your employees

from injury or death caused by extreme winds. By near-absolute

protection we mean that there is a very high probability the occupants

of a safe room built according to current guidance will avoid injury

or death. Information on how to build a Safe Room (shown in the

photo at right) in your home or school is available from FEMA at:

Keep your family safe, and learn more about Severe weather online at the National Weather Service.