Severe Weather

What To Listen For…

TORNADO WATCH: Tornadoes are possible in your area. Remain alert for approaching storms. Keep the radio on.
TORNADO WARNING: A tornado has been sighted or indicated by radar. Move to a place of safety such as a basement immediately!
SEVERE THUNDERSTORM WATCH: Severe thunderstorms are possible in your area.
SEVERE THUNDERSTORM WARNING: Severe thunderstorms are occurring. Go inside and stay away from windows.

Safety Tips…

While lightning can be fascinating to watch, it is also extremely dangerous. During a thunderstorm, each flash of lightning is a potential killer.

Whether or not a particular flash could be deadly depends if you are in the path of the lightning discharge. In addition to the visible flash traveling through the air, electrical current can travel along the ground.

When To Seek Shelter
Lightning can strike as much as 10 miles away from the thunderstorm.
To reduce the threat of death or injury, those in charge of organized outdoor activities should develop a plan to keep participants and spectators safe from lightning.
1.) Postpone activities promptly. Don’t wait for rain.
2.) Go quickly inside a completely enclosed building or get inside a hard-topped all-metal vehicle.
3.) Be the lowest point. Lightning hits the tallest object. Crouch down if you are in an exposed area.
4.) Avoid sheds, picnic shelters, baseball dugouts, and bleachers.
5.) If you can’t get to a shelter, stay away from trees.
6.) Get out of the water. It conducts electricity. Stay off the beach and out of small boats or canoes.
7.) Avoid metal. Drop metal backpacks, stay away from clothes lines, fences, exposed sheds and elevated objects. Don’t use metal items such golf clubs, fishing rods, tennis rackets or tools.
8.) Listen to Local Radio or Weather Radio.

At Home
1.) Stay away from windows and doors and avoid contact with anything that conducts electricity.
2.) Keep off the phone unless it’s an emergency.
3.) Do not take a shower or do laundry.
4.) Take action to protect property by unplugging electronic equipment well before the storm arrives.
What to do If Someone is Struck
In the unfortunate event that a person is struck by lightning, medical care should be summoned immediately to save the person’s life.



A tornado is a violently rotating column of air extending from a thunderstorm to the ground. The most violent tornadoes are capable of tremendous destruction with wind speeds of 250 mph or more. Tornadoes are one of nature’s most violent storms.
In an average year, 800 tornadoes are reported across the United States, resulting in 80 deaths and over 1,500 injuries.
If a Tornado Warning Is Issued
Practice tornado safety drills with your family before severe weather strikes. A tornado safety plan will save precious time in the event a tornado hits your area. Designate a safe spot in your home, office, or school.

At Home
1.) Go immediately to a storm shelter or basement, first-floor bathroom, or small room at the center of the house. Put as many walls between you and the outside of your home as possible.
2.) Get in the bath tub and cover yourself with a mattress or blankets and pillows. Or, get under heavy furniture and cover your head. Put on a bicycle or motorcycle helmet.
3.) Stay away from windows.
4.) If you are in a mobile home, leave immediately. If a storm cellar or community shelter is not available, take cover in a deep ditch or depression.

In Schools & Public Buildings
1.) Go to the basement or designated shelter area.
2.) Stay away from windows and glass.
3.) Get to interior rooms or hallways and cover your head.
4.) Stay out of gymnasiums and auditoriums.
While Driving
1.) If a tornado is distant, drive away from it at right angles.
2.) If a tornado is near, do not try to outrun it. Get out of your car, lie flat in a ditch or depression and cover your head.
3.) Stay away from large trees or metal poles.
4.) If a live wire falls on your car, do not leave your car until help arrives.


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