Severe weather season is here. Severe weather during this season comes in many forms; damaging winds, hail and even the chance of tornadoes. The season ranges typically from April through June; however they can happen anytime during the year if the conditions are right. There are several precautions that can be taken to help keep you and your family safe in the case of a severe storm occurring:
- A storm radio is important to have. This will keep you updated to current weather situations.
- Apps for smartphones can also send weather alerts, and keep you tuned into which areas may be affected.
- Make sure to have plenty of batteries for the storm radio and flashlights, in case power goes out.
- Head for a nearby storm cellar to take cover. If no cellar is available, take shelter in an interior structure on the lowest level of the building. Interior bathrooms, hallways and closets are usually good options.
- Stay away from windows, doors and outside walls.
- Leave mobile homes and vehicles to take cover in a sturdier structure. If none are available, lie flat in the nearest ditch or ravine and shield your head with your hands.
- Flying debris is a major cause of injury and death during a tornado.
- Tornadoes are rated on a scale ranging from an F0- F5, with F0 being weakest and F5 being the strongest. It is important to remember that even weak tornadoes are dangerous and can result in destruction and death.
- Tornadoes winds may sound like a freight train or jet engine roar.
- A tornado “watch” means that tornadoes are possible. A tornado “warning” means that they are occurring in the area covered. It is important to pay attention to news alerts and to be prepared for action.
Tornados and other forms of severe storms can be extremely destructive, and are not a laughing matter. Do not attempt to “brave” out the storm or think that a tornado will not hit where you are. In order to stay safe during a storm you must think clearly and have an action plan. Following the above guidelines will help in keeping you and your family informed and safe during this severe weather season.