What to do during severe weather

Local News
OTD April 5 - Tupelo 1936 tornado27343220-159532

As a part of Severe Weather Awareness Week, Local 5 continues to help you get prepared for when severe weather strikes. 

There will be two statewide tornado drills on Thursday. A mock tornado watch will be issued at 1 p.m. followed by a mock tornado warning at 1:45 p.m. Another mock warning will be issued at 6:45 p.m. to give families a chance to practice their emergency plans at home. 

During severe weather, Local 5 will do everything we can to help you stay informed – from cutting into programming to show you where the storms are located, sending alerts to your phone, and even keeping you informed on social media. And during the time you have to get to your safe spot, Local 5 will be on Facebook Live so you can take us with you on your phone. 

Last year, we showed you that when our power goes out here at the station, we still are dedicated to bring you severe weather coverage. 

We’re ready, are you? 

In case of severe weather, Ready.gov has provided these steps to follow to start your emergency communication plan:

  1. Understand how to receive emergency alerts and warnings.  Make sure all household members are able to get alerts about an emergency from local officials. Check with your local emergency management agency to see what is available in your area, and learn more about alerts by visiting: www.ready.gov/alerts.

  2. Discuss family/household plans for disasters that may affect your area and plan where to go. Plan together in advance so that everyone in the household understands where to go during a different type of disaster like a hurricane, tornado, or wildfire. 

  3. Collect information. Create a paper copy of the contact information for your family that includes:

    1. phone (work, cell, office)

    2. email

    3. social media

    4. medical facilities, doctors, service providers

    5. school

  4. Identify information and pick an emergency meeting place. Things to consider:

    1. Decide on safe, familiar places where your family can go for protection or to reunite.

    2. Make sure these locations are accessible for household members with disabilities or access and functional needs.

    3. If you have pets or service animals, think about animal-friendly locations.

  5. Share information. Make sure everyone carries a copy in his or her backpack, purse, or wallet. You should also post a copy in a central location in your home, such as your refrigerator or family bulletin board.

  6. Practice your plan. Have regular household meetings to review your emergency plans, communication plans and meeting place after a disaster, and then practice, just like you would a fire drill.

Having at least three ways to receive a warning is very important when it comes to severe weather. Whether it be tuned to Local 5 on television, a weather radio, or on your phone, having these tools will help to keep you safe and informed during dangerous weather. 

When thunderstorm warnings are issued, make your way inside. Move away from any windows and do not ignore the warnings. These severe thunderstorm warnings often precede tornado warnings. Continue to monitor the weather with your weather radio, television or cell phone. 

When a tornado warning is issued, allow plenty of time to get to your tornado shelter or safe spot. The National Weather Service has provided these important and helpful tips on what to do during a tornado warning: 

  • Move quickly! Don’t waste valuable time by trying to see the tornado. If you wait until you can see or hear it coming, it may be too late.

  • Be sure you’re dressed, and don’t forget to wear sturdy shoes!

  • Take your cell phone, car keys and identification with you.

  • GET IN, GET DOWN, AND COVER UP! This is EXTREMELY important. If you are outside, get inside. Get underground if possible. If you’re already in a sturdy building, go the lowest floor in the middle of the building. Put as many walls between you and the outside as possible. Flying and falling debris are a storm’s number one killer. Use pillows, blankets, cushions, coats, helmets, etc to cover up and protect your head and body from flying debris.

  • DO NOT seek shelter under a highway overpass. They are not safe!

  • DO NOT open doors or windows. This does not help!

  • DO NOT go outside to find the tornado, even if you think it’s far away!

As always, Local 5 will be here to keep you safe during severe weather. Make sure to have your safety plan in place for when dangerous weather moves your way. 

Copyright 2020 Nexstar Inc. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

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