Now is the time to make a severe weather action plan

Devastating images continue to pour in from Alabama and Georgia where a significant tornado outbreak took place this past Sunday. The death toll now stands at 24 and will likely rise as more than 100 people are still reported missing.

Now is the time to start preparing for our own increasing chances for severe weather as we continue through the month of March.

On average we see a handful of tornadoes in  March, but that will dramatically increase heading into April and May. While the 2018 severe weather statistics were much lower than average, that doesn’t mean the quiet pattern will continue this year.

When you think of a severe weather plan, keep the following in mind:

RECEIVING WARNINGS
Most of us have cell phones now that receive EAS alerts through our provider. The nice thing about this technology is that it follows you wherever you go, quite handy for traveling. Make sure your phone is set up to receive these EAS alerts.  You can also download our StormTrack 8 Weather App. Download the News 8 Weather App — for iOS, click here and for Android, click here.

Staying off the grid when it comes to cell phone technology? We’ll still have you covered on-air through your TV when severe weather strikes.  You can count on us being there when dangerous storms threaten the Quad Cities.

A NOAA weather radio is also ideal, especially at night. They are very inexpensive and can be found at most grocery/convenience storm

SEEKING SHELTER
In our homes that means heading for the basement or finding an interior room that has no windows. Do you know where to go in your workplace? What about if you are traveling in your car?
-Workplace: Seek shelter in an interior room with no windows if possible, crouching down to the ground and covering your head.

-For vehicles, abandon them for a ditch or culvert whenever possible. If you are able to safely turn around and travel away from the tornado, that is also preferred.  DO NOT shelter in place inside your vehicle, it has more surface area for flying debris to strike, potentially injuring and killing you.

-Your shelter should also have access to non-perishable food and water.

EVACUATION PLAN
Tornadoes are capable of leveling entire towns. Flash flooding can also inundate major metropolitan areas quickly. Making sure you have an escape route should you need to quickly leave and reach a place of safety is critical. Keep heavily congested areas in mind when making your evacuation plan.

FAMILY COMMUNICATION
Have someone within your family in charge of contacting everyone. Double check the contacts listing in your phone, making sure it is up to date and has all of your emergency contacts loaded in.

Lastly, PRACTICE! Go through a simulation and see what needs to be added or improved to your plan.

Meteorologist Andrew Stutzke

Download the News 8 Weather App — for iOS, click here and for Android, click here

Download the free News 8 App — for iOS, click here and for Android, click here

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