Clean out shelters and closets
Plan NOW well in advance of so you know what you will do in the event of Severe Weather or a Tornado. Clean out your storm shelters and closets to make sure they are accessible and comfortable.
Shelters should be dusted and cleaned, and their entrances should be unobstructed. If you use a closet or interior room as a tornado shelter, make sure floor space is clear and blankets, pillows, helmets and other safety items are easily accessible.
A Few Items you might want to have in your Severe Weather Shelter and or Take with you are:
- Use an airtight container to pack an emergency kit and store it in an easily accessible place. Update it each year, replacing out-of-date supplies as necessary. Suggested supplies include:
- Water. At least one gallon of water per person per day for at least three days, plus water for pets.
- Food. At least a three-day supply of non-perishable food for your family. Two weeks of food for your pets.
- Radio. Battery-powered or hand crank radio/NOAA Weather Radio, with extra batteries.
- First aid kit.
- Whistle to signal for help.
- Dust mask for each member of the household.
- Various basic tools like a wrench, pliers, screw drivers and hammer.
- Manual can opener.
- Local map.
- Cash. ATMs may be unavailable for several days during a disaster.
- Pet supplies, including a leash and medications.
Make sure the moving parts like door hinges, latches and rollers are properly working and you have performed any preventative maintenance.
If you spray your storm shelter or safe room for bugs and insects, make sure it is properly ventilated before vacuuming it or using it.
Make a plan, and build a kit
Every household should have an emergency supply kit, and plans for what to do in weather emergencies at every location where you spend lots of time – home, work, school, church, etc.
Review Your Safety Plan:
If you have a severe weather safety plan you should review it. Make sure everyone in your family knows what to do in certain situations. Know where everyone will be during the day and make it clear what to do if severe weather impacts your location. Know where to seek shelter beforehand! If you don’t have a tornado safety plan, review some safety tips and suggestions.
Have at least 3 ways to get a warning during a Severe Weather Day:
Whether it be via local television, our Facebook, web page, an app on your mobile device, AM/FM radio, the Internet, NOAA All-Hazards Radio, etc., continue to monitor weather information during the day for any changes in the situation.
What’s the difference between a Watch and a Warning?
A WATCH means that the potential exists for the development of severe thunderstorms or tornadoes, depending upon the specific type of watch issued. In the case of a tornado watch, this DOES NOT mean that a tornado has been seen or even indicated on radar…it just means that conditions are favorable for the formation of tornadoes in thunderstorms. Similarly, a severe thunderstorm watch means that conditions are just conducive for the development of severe weather, and DOES NOT indicate that severe weather has been reported. While no immediate action on the part of the general public is required for the issuance of a watch, citizens should keep up to date on the current weather situation and be prepared to seek shelter if necessary.
A WARNING, on the other hand, requires more immediate action and should be taken seriously. A severe thunderstorm warning indicates that severe weather is imminent in your area or is already occurring (based on either human observation or doppler radar). The term severe refers to hail greater than or equal to 1.00″ in diameter and/or wind gusts that meet or exceed 58 mph. Although these storms can also be associated with dangerous cloud to ground lightning or heavy rainfall that is capable of causing flash flooding, neither of these two items serve as criteria for a severe thunderstorm warning being issued.
During a Tornado WARNING: A Warning means a tornado has been either spotted by a human observer or indicated by doppler radar. Similar to a severe thunderstorm warning, once a tornado warning is issued for your area, you should take cover immediately!
- GET IN – If you are outside, get inside. If you’re already inside, get as far into the middle of the building as possible.
- GET DOWN – Get underground if possible. If you cannot, go to the lowest floor possible.
- COVER UP – Flying and falling debris are a storm’s number one killer. Use pillows, blankets, coats, helmets, etc to cover up and protect your head and body from flying debris.
During Severe Weather Season it’s VERY IMPORTANT to know which county you live so you know if you need to act when a WARNING is issued for your specific location. Below is a good county map for the State of Oklahoma.
I hope you find all this information useful and as always Stay with myself and THE OSC StormTeam all season long as we will keep you ahead of the Storm!
Meteorologist Todd Rasmuson