Our Opinion: Prepare for stormsPublished 10:22am Thursday, May 30, 2013
Daily Herald editorial
Spring has sprung a leak, apparently. Rain and thunderstorms have filled our forecasts, and as the weather warms, the storms will get stronger, as they typically do heading into June.
The prudent thing to do is be prepared.
About 100,000 thunderstorms occur in the United States each year, according to the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Association. Around 10 percent of them reach severe levels. They bring floods, hail, gusts, lightning and dreaded tornadoes.
Do you know the difference between a watch and a warning?
Does your family have an emergency plan?
Is there a disaster kit in your house?
Have you designated a safe area?
Ever considered taking an inventory of your belongings?
Do you know your insurance policy?
These steps make a big difference in times of weather trouble. Here are some answers:
A severe thunderstorm watch means there is the potential for these storms to develop. Be sure to follow news media in case a watch becomes a warning.
A severe thunderstorm warning means a severe thunderstorm is happening or imminent. Seek shelter. Stay indoors.
A tornado watch means conditions for a tornado are possible. Be ready in case the watch becomes a warning.
A tornado warning means a tornado has been spotted. Seek shelter in a safe location.
Each home, school or workplace should have a designated safe area in a low level in case of a tornado. Have a disaster supply kit, in case you need flashlights, batteries, bottled water, first aid, a radio and blankets.
Being smart and playing it safe in times of severe weather can mean the difference between life and death or even the peace of mind that your loved ones will make it through an unexpected disaster.