Be Prepared for Severe Weather

It’s best to be prepared for any type of severe weather at any time.

Marshall County Emergency Management Agency Director Clyde Avery urges residents to be aware of all types of severe weather that can impact our area.

“Obviously tornadoes always pop up to the forefront of people’s minds of being the most significant thing, but we do get a lot of thunderstorms and severe thunderstorms in our area with strong winds that can still cause damage to homes and power outages,” said Avery.

Avery says it’s especially important to make plans now with it being the beginning of spring and the recognition of Severe Weather Preparedness Week this week.

“If we have a strong storm come through the power will probably go out. How are you going to be prepared for that? Can you make contact with other family members to make sure they’re ok or to let them know that you’re ok? Do you have a kit put together where you can be self sustaining for up to 72 hours?”

When severe weather is predicted, meteorologists will use the terms watch and warning when describing the storm’s potential. Avery says it’s good to know the difference when making preparations for safety.

“A watch, whether it’s a tornado watch or a severe thunderstorm watch, means that conditions are favorable for severe weather to develop. In the case of a tornado watch, it’s favorable for tornadoes to develop. A severe thunderstorm warning means that severe weather is actually occurring. A tornado warning means that a tornado has actually been sighted, either by a spotter or an emergency responder. They may also see something on the radar that indicates rotation.”

Avery notes that outdoor warnings sirens are designed for those who are outside and can’t otherwise get pertinent information on the status of storms.

“There are other sources to get that information whether it’s from radio or television. Especially if it’s at night when most people are asleep, you can use an all-hazards alert radio. We encourage people to invest in one of those. You can even download an app on your smartphone.”

For more information on how you can obtain an all-hazards radio, contact your local Emergency Management Agency.