A weather radio should be part of severe weather preparations - WQOW TV: Eau Claire, WI NEWS18 News, Weather, and Sports

A weather radio should be part of severe weather preparations

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Eau Claire (WQOW) - Sunday's weather served as another reminder about safety. 

Specifically, why it's important to know what to do and where to go during severe weather. 

This is Tornado and Severe Weather Awareness Week.  A Wisconsin couple who says an early warning could've been the difference between life and death when a tornado hit last summer. 

Larry and Rita Krznarich were camping in northern Wisconsin last year.  The day started off nice, but took a turn for the worse in the evening.  So they turned on their weather radio. 

"I turned the radio on and there was a specific warning that a storm was about to hit the Turtle-Flambeau, take cover immediately," says Larry Krznarich.  "I said to Rita, 'head for the table, I'm going to warn the neighbors.'" 

Larry joined Rita under the picnic table and within minutes a tornado hit.  A falling tree hit Larry and broke his pelvis, but without the warning the couple says things could have been worse. 

"The screen house, where we may have been if not for the weather radio, was completely covered by trees, all of our stuff was completely covered," says Rita Krznarich. 

With spring here, residents are being reminded to plan for severe weather.  That includes buying a weather radio. 

"The great thing about the weather radio is its instantaneous, it's directly from the weather service, so you're getting information at exactly the same time they're getting it," says Tod Pritchard, Emergency Preparedness Coordinator. 

Larry has recovered from his injuries and now the couple makes sure everyone they know has a weather radio. 

"Even since the storm, we've given weather radios as gifts to people, you can get them for $20 so there's no excuse not to have one or a couple," says Larry. 

A statewide tornado drill is scheduled for Thursday so everyone can practice what to do in the event of the real thing.   The drill begins at 1:00 pm with a mock tornado watch, followed by mock warnings.  The drill will end at 2:00 pm.

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