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Students at Starr Elementary lined the halls of the elementary school Thursday while participating in the statewide tornado drill. The annual drill gives schools the opportunity to teach students and staff what would happen in the case of a real tornado warning.

Severe weather drill conducted by schools

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New Richmond Wisconsin 127 South Knowles Avenue 54017

New Richmond School District students took cover Thursday as part of a statewide tornado drill put on by the National Weather Service.

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The annual drill was a part of Wisconsin's Tornado and Severe Weather Awareness Week sponsored by Wisconsin Emergency Management and the National Weather Service.

Simulated tornado watches and warnings were issued to test the statewide warning and communications systems.

In schools, it gives students, staff and administration the opportunity to run through what would happen in such an emergency.

According to the National Weather Service, those in school should move to the lowest level, to the innermost room -- or go to a pre-designated shelter area. It's important to stay away from windows. In a hallway, crouch down and protect your head from flying debris. Avoid areas with glass and large expanses of roof with no supports.

In the case of severe weather, it's important for everyone to have a plan.

Here are some tips for families:

• Develop a plan for you and your family for home, work, school and when outdoors.

• Have frequent drills.

• Know the county/parish in which you live, and keep a highway map nearby to follow storm movement from weather bulletins.

• Have a NOAA Weather Radio with a warning alarm tone and battery back-up to receive warnings.

• Listen to radio and television for information.

• If planning a trip outdoors, listen to the latest forecasts and take necessary action if threatening weather is possible.

Thursday's drill started at 1 p.m. with a mock tornado watch and was followed by mock tornado warnings for different areas of the state every 10 minutes. St. Croix County (along with Barron, Chippewa, Dunn, Eau Claire, Pepin, Pierce, Polk, Rusk counties) began its "tornado warning" at 1:40 p.m.

The drill was concluded at 2 p.m.

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Jackie Grumish
Jackie Grumish has been a reporter with the New Richmond News since 2008. She holds degrees in journalism and fine art from Northern Illinois University in DeKalb, Ill. Before coming to New Richmond, Jackie worked as the city government reporter at a daily newspaper in Aberdeen, S.D. 
(715) 243-7767 x243
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