Severe Thunderstorm Safety Procedures

    
Public Information Statement 
National Weather Service Tallahassee FL 
1030 AM EDT Thu Apr 5 2012 

...Severe Thunderstorm Safety Procedures...


DIFFERENCES BETWEEN WATCHES AND WARNINGS

WATCH:   time to pay attention to the weather
 WARNING: time to take action

  * A Severe Thunderstorm Watch means conditions are favorable
    for severe thunderstorms. When under a watch, it is a time to
    prepare yourself and others for possible severe thunderstorms.

  * A Severe Thunderstorm Warning means meteorologists have detected 
    a severe thunderstorm, or have recieved an actual report from a   
    credible source. When a warning is issued, take immediate action 
    to protect life and property.

A THUNDERSTORM IS CONSIDERED SEVERE WHEN IT PRODUCES:

  * Hail of at least 1 inch in diameter (quarter size)
  * Wind gusts of 58 mph or higher, or equivalent damage

  Even non-severe thunderstorms can produce frequent, vivid
  lightning and torrential downpours.


SAFETY PROCEDURES FOR SEVERE THUNDERSTORMS

  * Before the arrival of a severe thunderstorm, you should get 
    inside a sturdy structure. The safest place will be away from 
    windows, and inside an interior room on the lowest floor.

  * Those outdoors or in vulnerable locations like a mobile home
    should attempt to seek shelter in a nearby sturdy structure.
    Mobile homes can be seriously damaged by thunderstorm winds
    and are not a safe sheltering location.

  * If flying debris, or large, damaging hail occurs while you     
    are driving, you have the following options as a LAST RESORT:

        1. Stay in your vehicle with the seat belt on. Put your 
           head down below the windows, covering with your hands 
           and a blanket if possible.

        2. If you can safely get noticeably lower than the level
           of the roadway, exit your car, and lie in that area, 
           covering your head with your hands.

   -- Your choice should be driven by your SPECIFIC CIRCUMSTANCES

  * If swimming or on a boat, get out of the water and return to
    land as quickly as possible. Once on land, follow the safety
    procedures listed above.

  * Remember, many severe thunderstorms have the capability to
    produce a tornado with little to no advance warning.


FORMING A PREPAREDNESS PLAN IN ADVANCE

  * It's advisable to have a plan of action in your business,
    school, or household prior to the threat of severe weather
    ever arriving. Everyone should be aware of the plan and how it
    is implemented.

  * Consult the latest forecast information and know the risk for
    the area in which you live or visit.

      -- Check our Hazardous Weather Outlook, updated daily, at:
         http://www.srh.noaa.gov/productview.php?pil=TAEHWOTAE

  * Timing is important. If the forecast says that the threat of
    severe thunderstorms will be highest at a certain time of
    day, think about where you will be at that time and what you
    will be doing. This can help you prepare in advance for
    contingencies.

  * If there is a threat of severe thunderstorms on a given day,
    try to plan to be around a sturdy structure or have a shelter
    available as an option. Those who are outdoors or are in
    mobile homes are most at-risk from severe thunderstorms.


The latest forecast information can be found on our website at:

    http://www.srh.noaa.gov/tae           -OR-
    http://weather.gov/tallahassee

Additional resources can be found at the following websites:

    http://www.nws.noaa.gov/safety.php
    http://www.nws.noaa.gov/os/brochures.shtml

$$



Return to News Archive

USA.gov is the U.S. government's official web portal to all federal, state and local government web resources and services.