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Wisconsin Emergency Management calls OK tornado "wake up call"

MADISON, WI (WTAQ) - Wisconsin officials say the Oklahoma tornado tragedy should be a “wake up call” for what might happen here.

Tod Pritchard of Wisconsin Emergency Management says the cold spring in the Badger State might have lured us into a false sense of security.

All has been quiet on the Wisconsin tornado front this year – and because of the drought, the state only had 4 twisters in 2012, well below the average of 24.

At least 51 people were killed in a huge tornado that hit suburban Oklahoma City Monday. Pritchard said people only had up to 12 minutes of advance warning – and, “that’s very little time.”

Meanwhile, WISC-TV in Madison said the Midwest Severe Storm Tracking Center just happened to be in its monthly meeting during Monday’s tornado.

Dale Bernstein, the center’s president, said it was a “great teaching moment” that forecasters can use for a long time to come.