Residents Need to be Proactive with Overnight Storm Safety - WBAY

Residents Need to be Proactive with Overnight Storm Safety

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Another round of severe weather is heading toward Wisconsin. And much like last night, it will hit in the overnight hours, adding to its potential dangers. A good reminder to residents that they are responsible for their own safety.

There are warnings on social media, and it's being broadcast on TV. But like the storms that caused significant damage near Madison and in Platteville last night, the next round of potentially severe weather in our area is expected to be in the overnight hours. Not only is that an abnormal time for severe weather, but also when most people aren't necessarily paying attention to the forecast.

"Most weather, severe weather, occurs between the hours of 3 and 9pm, last night was a prime example of no it doesn't," says Winnebago County Emergency Management Director Linda Kollmann.

The overnight storms present a list of challenges.

Kollmann says, "We don't encourage people to go out spotting in the middle of the night. That is very unsafe for our volunteers, plus a lot of them work in the morning so to get a storm spotter out there in the middle of the night is not very easy."

And if they are outside, because of the darkness, it's nearly impossible to see what's going on.

"It's difficult to know sometimes the severity until maybe the storm is right upon you unless there's an amazing amount of lightning and you can really see a tornado among that, the lightning flashes," says Christina Mueller with Outagamie County Emergency Management.

That's why emergency management officials, with the help of radar and the National Weather Service monitor the storms and are prepared to warn residents if the storms become severe enough. But it's also a time for residents to take responsibility for their own safety by having a weather radio close by and a plan if severe weather would strike.

Says Mueller, "It's not fun to be thinking, okay, what would my emergency plan be? But I think they need to have a couple of different measures that they can take that can be utilized all year round."

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