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March Safety Tip

Six Steps for Severe Weather Safety

  1. Be familiar with severe weather threats: Know the difference between posted watches and warnings.  A watch means conditions are favorable for the watch area; a warning means severe weather is detected.  NOAA publishes a Hazardous Weather Outlook at various intervals daily which can give you more notice on the potential for severe weather.  See https://www.weather.gov/
  2. Be able to receive warnings and information: Have at least a radio (a weather radio which gives audible alarms is better).  Many sources such as smart phone apps and alerts are available.  Don’t rely on public sirens as often machinery may block people from hearing them.
  3. Have trained spotters: Spotters provide the “ground truth” sometimes before watches and warnings can be issued.  Check with local emergency management/the National Weather Service for local, free classes.
  4. Have designated shelters: Ensure everyone knows where to go and the alarm that signals this.  Shelters should be away from potential flying debris, glass and not near exterior walls or in areas with wide-span roofs.  Rooms with no windows and interior walls may be good.  It is also good to cover the head and be able to get under something sturdy.
  5. Have a plan and make sure everyone is trained. This includes people working outdoors, on business travel, vendors, and guests.
  6. Conduct drills: Practice makes perfect – hold regular drills and always hold a debriefing afterward to discuss how to improve the next drill.  March is a perfect time to have a severe weather drill before “tornado season” hits.

For more information, see this link on preparing for and surviving a Tornado.