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Wisconsin's statewide tornado drill is an annual event, typically held in mid-April during the Thursday of Tornado and Severe Weather Awareness Week. During the drill, everyone in the state is encouraged to discuss and practice their plans on what to do during a tornado warning. For many people, this includes going to their designated tornado shelter, whether they are at school, work or home.
Since 2012, the statewide drill has included an Emergency Alert System (EAS) live code test, triggered by the National Weather Service and relayed to NOAA Weather Radios and Wisconsin broadcast television and radio stations. At 1:45pm and 6:45pm, anyone near a device set up to receive those alerts would see or hear a message advising them of the drill. Many communities also participate by sounding their outdoor warning sirens during the drill times.
Due to concerns about the technical limitations of the drill, a decision has been made by Wisconsin Emergency Management, the National Weather Service, the Wisconsin Broadcasters Association, and Wisconsin Emergency Alert Systems (EAS) Committee to permanently discontinue the EAS live code test portion of the drill. Other aspects of the drill, including associated public messaging safety campaigns encouraging people to practice their plans during the 1:45pm and 6:45pm time slots, will proceed as planned on April 15th, 2021.