Severe storms could produce damaging winds, large hail and tornadoes.
As severe storms are forecast to develop across parts of the Deep South, it is a good time for everyone to check their severe weather plans in order to be best prepared and safe from Mother Nature's fury. Severe weather will extend from the lower Mississippi Valley into Tennessee, and if you live in these areas, these tips can help you stay safe.
Whether you're stuck in a strong thunderstorm, hail is falling, or worse, you see a tornado in the distance, following these simple guidelines will help protect yourself and your family from nature's worst.
There are three simple principles to remember:
Get Inside: If you are outside, get indoors! If you're already inside, get as far into the middle of the building as possible.
Get Low: Wherever you are, try to get as low as you can. A storm cellar or basement is usually the safest part of the house during severe weather. If you don't have one, go to the lowest floor possible.
Cover up - Flying and falling debris such as wood are a storm's number one killer. For protection, you can use several household items such as blankets, coats, and helmets.
What if you're not home:
While a home is usually the safest place to shelter during severe weather, sometimes we can get caught off guard, usually in a vehicle or running an errand. If this is the case, your best way to stay prepared is to stay aware.
Before your trip, monitor television, radio, NOAA weather radio, and the internet for storm location information. If severe storms are ongoing or are forecast in your location, consider delaying your travel.
If you are unlucky and caught in your car or on the street, stop what you are doing and seek shelter in the nearest building immediately. Gas stations, convenience stores, and supermarkets are usually nearby.
Vehicles are not safe to be in during severe weather as they can be blown over, rolled, crushed, lifted, or otherwise destroyed by a strong wind gust or even a weak tornado. You should always try to seek shelter indoors and follow the three principles mentioned above.
In summary, it is possible to survive a severe thunderstorm. However, the key is to have a survival plan. Follow these guidelines, and always stay aware of the forecast to keep yourself and your family safe.