Disasters can happen anytime and anywhere, from severe weather like tornadoes to winter storms to chemical spills and other man-caused emergencies. Be prepare in the event your family must go for a few days without electricity, water service, access to a supermarket or pharmacy, or other local services. Just follow these three steps:

Get a Kit

Keep enough emergency supplies on hand for you and your family for at least 72 hours– water, non-perishable food, first aid kit, prescriptions, flashlight, and a battery-powered radio. If you own pets, remember to include their food and supplies. Go to www.readywisconsin.wi.gov for more information. Have a NOAA weather radio.

Make a plan

Discuss and develop an emergency plan with your family. Know what to do if you need to shelter in place or evacuate. What do you do if your family is in different places during a disaster?

Be informed

Jefferson County also has a new alert notification system called IPAWS. The Integrated Public Alert and Warning System is an internet-based capability. Jefferson County can issue critical public alerts and warnings. With IPAWS, messages are sent out utilizing cell towers and whoever is in range of that tower will receive an alert notification on their smart phone – no app needed.

During an emergency, alert and warning officials need to provide the public with life-saving information quickly. The Integrated Public Alert and Warning System (IPAWS) is a modernization and integration of the nation’s alert and warning infrastructure and will save time when time matters most, protecting life and property.


In certain emergencies you may be told to shelter-in-place.

— Bring your family and pets inside and stay inside.

— Lock doors, close windows, air vents and fireplace dampers.

— Turn off fans, air conditioning and forced-air heating systems.

— Choose an area above ground that has a telephone, water, a toilet, and someplace you can seal off easily.

— Take your Emergency Supply Kit with you.

— Seal all windows, doors and air vents in your area with plastic sheeting and duct tape; close all shades, blinds and/or curtains.

— Be prepared to cover your nose and mouth with a wet cloth if necessary

— Watch TV, listen to the radio or check the internet often for official news and instructions as they become available. Wait for the all clear signal before you move outside.

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