- Know the terms used to describe severe thunderstorm threats:
-- Severe thunderstorms are
possible. Watch the sky and listen to the radio or television for
more information. Be prepared to take shelter.
Severe thunderstorm watch
-- Severe thunderstorms are
occurring. Take shelter. Turn on a battery-operated radio or
television to receive warnings and severe weather statements.
Severe thunderstorm warning
- Purchase a National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration
Weather Radio with a battery backup and a tone-alert feature, which
automatically alerts you when a watch or warning is issued. Know the
county or counties in which you live and work. The National Weather
Service uses county names when watches, warnings and advisories are
issued and broadcast. New Specific Area Message Encoder Weather
Radios, can be programmed to alarm only for a specific county or
group of adjacent counties.
- Check the weather forecast before leaving for extended outdoor
periods, and postpone plans if severe weather is imminent.
- Keep a list of emergency phone numbers. Teach children how and
when to call 911 for emergency assistance.
- Choose a friend or family member who lives out of the area for
separated family members to call to report their whereabouts and
- Keep important documents and records in a safe deposit box or
other secure location.
- Maintain a disaster supply kit.
[to top of second column in
- Close all windows and doors. Draw the shades or blinds to reduce
the risk from flying glass if window or door glass breaks due to
- Monitor the radio or television for the latest weather
- Avoid using the telephone or other electrical appliances until
the storm passes.
- Turn off air conditioners. If lightning strikes, a power surge
could damage the compressor.
- Delay taking baths or showers until after the storm passes.
- If outdoors, seek shelter immediately. If you can hear thunder,
you are probably close enough to the storm to be struck by
- If you are in a boat when a thunderstorm threatens, you should
attempt to reach shore as quickly as possible.
- If you are driving, pull safely to the shoulder away from trees
and power lines. Lightning can flash from trees or power poles into
a vehicle through the radio antenna. Normally, in the open, a
vehicle is a safe shelter from lightning. Avoid touching metal parts
of the vehicle when lightning is nearby.
- If you find yourself in a position where there is no immediate
shelter available, find a low spot away from trees and power poles
where you can squat low to the ground. Make yourself the smallest
- Monitor the radio or television for emergency information or
- Check for injured victims. Render first aid if necessary. Most
lightning strike victims can be revived with CPR. Do not attempt to
move severely injured victims unless absolutely necessary. Wait for
emergency medical assistance to arrive.
- Take photos of or videotape the damage to your home or property.
- Do not make unnecessary telephone calls.
- If driving, be alert for hazards on the roadway.
- Check on neighbors or relatives who may require special
warning coordination meteorologist,
National Weather Service,
Recommendations on what to do before, during and after tornadoes and
flooding will be posted another day.]