Severe Weather

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Watches and Warnings

  • A severe weather watch means that conditions are right for severe weather to occur during the watch period.
  • A severe weather warning means severe weather is imminent. Seek shelter right now.

Table source:

How to shelter in the event of severe weather

If you are in... Then...
A structure (e.g. residence, small building, school, nursing home, hospital, factory, shopping center, high-rise building) Go to a pre-designated area such as a safe room, basement, storm cellar, or the lowest building level. If there is no basement, go to the center of a small interior room on the lowest level (closet, interior hallway) away from corners, windows, doors, and outside walls. Put as many walls as possible between you and the outside. Get under a sturdy table and use your arms to protect your head and neck.
In a high-rise building, go to a small interior room or hallway on the lowest floor possible.
Put on sturdy shoes.
Do not open windows.
A manufactured home or office Get out immediately and go to a pre-identified location such as the lowest floor of a sturdy, nearby building or a storm shelter. Mobile homes, even if tied down, offer little protection from tornadoes.
The outside with no shelter Possible actions include:

* Immediately get into a vehicle, buckle your seat belt and try to drive to the closest sturdy shelter.
* Take cover in a stationary vehicle. Put the seat belt on and cover your head with your arms and a blanket, coat or other cushion if possible.
* Lie in an area noticeably lower than the level of the roadway and cover your head with your arms and a blanket, coat or other cushion if possible.

In all situations: Do not get under an overpass or bridge. You are safer in a low, flat location.