Altoona, Wis. (WEAU) -- Although a blanket of snow still covers the Chippewa Valley, severe weather season is just around the corner. And Wisconsin Emergency Management hopes you'll be a "force of nature" next week.
Next week is National Severe Weather Preparedness Week and emergency managers want you to take the necessary steps of being prepared for all that mother nature has to offer.
"The time to make a plan is well before any emergency. Well before any disaster. In emergency services we make our plan and practice and practice and practice." Tom Hurley the Eau Claire Emergency Manager says the "Be A Force Of Nature" campaign is an effort to get families and businesses to not only create an emergency plan. But he also wants people to practice it and make improvements to their plan. That, he says is key.
"Schools really lead the way in the community in their preparedness. They have an obligation to their students, their community, to make sure everybody is safe, their staff included," says Hurley.
A stellar example is over at the Altoona school district where they take safety seriously.
"Every building has designated areas for students to go to and every teacher has that information and for every room it's posted in the rooms where you go from this room...where you go for a tornado," explains Altoona superintendent, Dr. Connie Biedron. She says they make it a point to review their plan after drills or even a crisis like the lockdown last year.
"You can always can do things better. New information comes out like after the Joplin tornado. What happened there? How can we revise our plan and make it better to keep everyone safer."
Earlier this month the school started an alert system where parents can choose to get emergency or non-emergency information by phone call, email, or text.
"I think parents are very appreciative of getting that notice as soon as possible and in the manner that they prefer," says Dr. Biedron.
This year, Ready Wisconsin hopes you'll pledge to prepare on their webpage. They say it's a first step to making sure you and your family is prepared for severe weather.
Click the link below to find out more about the pledge.