September is National Preparedness Month and we just added over 450 images and 350 pages to the Wisconsin Emergency Management Images and Historic Materials collection to mark the occasion.
Images of fire, flood, tornado damage and train derailments show the risks Wisconsin communities face. Each year the state is hit by an average of 26 tornadoes and over 1,500 wildfires that threaten lives and property. Flooding along Wisconsin’s rivers is an annual rite of spring and summer that causes millions in property damage and forces families out of their homes.
This collection documents many of these events, from the 1996 Oakfield tornado a F5 with estimated wind speeds of 265 mph and the 1965 Monroe tornado, which was just one event in the 12 hour rash of Midwest tornados known as the Palm Sunday outbreak to flooding in a number of counties and environmental disasters caused by train derailments and fires. They also document Wisconsin Emergency Management’s response to these disasters as well as the efforts of countless volunteers, community members, and the National Guard.
Disasters can strike anywhere in Wisconsin, and everyone—families, businesses, community organizations, and governments—should plan and prepare for what to do if disaster hits their community. To learn more about Preparedness Month and how to create your emergency preparedness plan, visit ReadyWisconsin. You’ll make state officials so happy!