The possibility of severe weather is not uncommon in East Tennessee, and while most storms occur in the spring and summer, they can occur any time of year. So what should you do if there is severe weather in the forecast?
Before the storm
Check the forecast. The 10 Weather team will provide the latest watches and warnings on air and online. Visit the WBIR Weather pageon WBIR.com and like WBIR Weather on Facebook and follow @WBIRWeather on twitter. You can also get the WBIR Weather app for smart phones and tablets.
You should have a weather radio to provide watches and warnings, especially while you are sleeping.
Have a severe weather safety kit that includes a radio, flashlight, fresh batteries, etc.
Make sure your cell phone is fully charged.
Have a safety plan in place. Make sure everyone in your family knows what to do in certain situations. Know where to seek shelter before hand.
When A Watch Is Issued
Watches may be issued hours before a storm. The sky may be sunny when you first hear a tornado or severe thunderstorm watch. Remember, a watch just means that conditions are favorable for severe thunderstorms and/or tornadoes. You should keep an eye on the forecast because weather can change quickly.
When A Severe Thunderstorm Warning Is Issued
Do not ignore severe thunderstorm warnings! Severe thunderstorm warnings often precede tornado warnings, providing you with extra time to prepare for a dangerous storm. If there's a severe thunderstorm headed your way, you should monitor it closely, especially if a tornado watch is also in effect.
Move inside a sturdy structure and away from windows. Severe thunderstorms can produce damaging straight-line winds and large hail.
When A Tornado Warning Is Issued
Move quickly! Don't waste valuable time by trying to see the tornado. If you wait until you can see or hear it coming, it may be too late.
Be sure you're dressed, and don't forget to wear sturdy shoes!
Take your cell phone, car keys and identification with you.
If you are outside, get inside. Get underground if possible. If you're already in a sturdy building, go to the lowest floor in the middle of the building. Put as many walls between you and the outside as possible. Flying and falling debris are a storm's number one killer. Use pillows, blankets, cushions, coats, helmets, etc to cover up and protect your head and body from flying debris.
DO NOT seek shelter under a highway overpass. They are not safe!
DO NOT open doors or windows. This does not help!
DO NOT go outside to find the tornado, even if you think it's far away!