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
* 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:
* 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
* 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:
Additional resources can be found at the following websites:
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