Natural Disaster Risks in Wisconsin

Two different types of natural disasters in Wisconsin.

Natural disaster risks vary from state to state. If you live in Wisconsin, it’s important to know what potential risks may affect your home and how to properly prepare in the case of an emergency. Here are a few common natural disaster risks in Wisconsin and what you should do to be ready for them!


Floods in Wisconsin are a relatively common occurrence because of overflowing rivers or lakes and heavy surface run-off in flat areas. Just in 2017, 17 counties in southwest Wisconsin and 3 counties in southeast Wisconsin declared a state of emergency because of heavy rains and flooding. A big flood can cause massive water damage, stall and wash cars away, and create health hazards depending on the source of the water.
Cars driving through a flooded road.

How to Prepare

The best thing you can do to prepare for a flood is to make sure that you are prepared beforehand. Create an emergency kit that’s ready to go at a moment’s notice. If you find that your home is starting to flood or the roads around you are starting to flood, don’t enter the water, as it could be contaminated with sewage or other unsafe water. If your home is flooded, you’ll need to make sure to document the water damage for insurance purposes and call a restoration company to clean up the water safely and prevent mold growth.


Tornadoes are quite common in Wisconsin, especially in the southern part of the state. While most of the tornadoes are relatively harmless, there are a few tornadoes each year that can cause massive damage to homes in Wisconsin.

Twin tornadoes hitting farmland.

How to Prepare

If you want to be ready for a tornado, you need to make sure you know the signs of a tornado so you can know when you need to get out of the storm and go indoors:

  • Greenish or dark clouds
  • A rotating wall cloud
  • A funnel cloud
  • Hail, instead of rain
  • A loud rumbling, slightly like thunder
  • Flying debris
  • A large drop in air pressure

Before a tornado even comes, make sure your house is prepared for a tornado. If you find yourself in your home during a tornado, get somewhere safe and low, like a basement or somewhere with a reinforced ceiling. If you know where heavy furniture is located in the upper floors of your home, make sure that you are not standing beneath them during a tornado. If you don’t have a basement, find a small room in your home to stay in and keep away from windows.


Thunderstorms in Wisconsin can get quite dangerous, as the danger isn’t only because of lightning strikes, but the straight-line winds that can come as well. A straight-line wind is a wind generated by a thunderstorm but doesn’t spiral like a tornado. It may be severe if it exceeds 58 mph.

Bolts of lightning striking a lake.

How to Prepare

If you find yourself in a major thunderstorm, don’t panic! Get somewhere safe, like indoors or in your car (with a metal hood, not a convertible). If you’re in your car, make sure that you aren’t parked underneath a tree or something else that may break or fall on your car, especially if the wind starts to pick up. If your home gets damaged by the windstorm, make sure to take pictures and document the damage and call a restoration company.

Blizzards and Snowstorms

What does a foot of snow do to your home? Actually, quite a bit. Blizzards, snowstorms, and ice storms can all do major damage to your roof, create dangerous roadways, and even increase the risk of carbon monoxide poisoning in your home or car.

A snow-covered landscape

How to Prepare

Before the first snowstorm even hits, make sure to prepare your home for the upcoming winter weather. Take extra care to look at your roof for any loose shingles or potential leaks. If you notice an ice dam forming on your roof, give a restoration company a call as soon as you notice it so it can be removed. If the ice dam isn’t removed, you may find yourself with a collapsed roof during the winter months.


Wildfires are a huge risk in Wisconsin, especially during the spring, where as the snow melts, leaves, pine needles, and other combustibles are left on the ground to dry. If you want to know if your area is more at risk for a fire, you can check out any burning restrictions throughout the state or any currently burning fires here.

A dying brush fire.

How to Prepare

First, determine if your home is somewhere at risk for wildfires. If you’re in an urban area, your home may be less likely affected by a wildfire, but if you’re in the suburbs, you should be prepared for a potential fire hazard. Some other signs that your home may be in danger of a wildfire include:

  • Your home is in a rural area
  • There are tall trees nearby
  • Your soil consists of mostly sand
  • There are more pine needles and leaves than grass

If your home is at risk for a fire, make sure you have an emergency kit available in the case of an evacuation.

Was Your Home Damaged by a Wisconsin Natural Disaster?

Wisconsin is at high risk for a natural disaster, whether it’s a flood, snowstorm, wildfire, or even tornado. If your home has been damaged by any natural disaster, give Kelmann Restoration a call. We can clean up the damage and restore your home and your life back to normal in no time!

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