It's the beginning of March and that means a change of seasons is on its way. The coming spring season also signals the beginning of our main severe storm season here in Kentuckiana. With the fury of last year's severe weather still fresh in our minds, it's time to begin preparing for what spring may have in store for us this year. This is timely because March is Severe Weather Awareness Month in Kentucky and the statewide tornado drill is on Tuesday, March 5th (tomorrow) at 10:07am. Indiana's Severe Weather Preparedness Week is March 24-30. Below are some tips and resources that you can use to keep your family safe during severe weather. You owe it to yourself and your family to be be ready to go when a tornado warning is issued for your location. We're not here to scare you with this information. We just want you to be confidently prepared!
The best way to be prepared for severe weather is to have a kit with essentials inside ready to go. This kit doesn't have to be fancy. Start with a plastic container or box, one that you can fit into an easy accessible place like a hallway closet or utility room. Fill the container with these items:
- Non-perishible food
- A few water bottles
- Copies of critical documents (medical, insurance, social security, financial)
- First-aid kit
- Cell phone charger
It's also a good idea to keep your cell phone charged leading up to any severe weather since your power may go out.
Before severe weather strikes you'll want to make sure you have a way to get severe thunderstorm and tornado warnings. Do NOT rely on a tornado siren as your sole source of tornado warnings! These are outdoor sirens that are designed to be best heard when people are outside. If you're inside and/or asleep you'll likely have a hard time hearing them. That's why you need a mobile app, text alert, or weather radio in your house to inform you of impending severe weather. Having more than one of these is a good idea.
Text Alerts. As long as your phone can receive text messages, you can receive instant weather alerts from WAVE 3. Click here to sign up. Don't forget to enter the county you live in!
Mobile App. Our WAVE 3 Weather app is also another great way to receive notification of weather warnings in the area. Make sure you follow the instructions in the app to enable alert notifications on your device. An added bonus is that you can stream LIVE the same severe weather coverage that we do on TV right on the app!
NOAA Weather Radio. A NOAA Weather Radio is a must for any household. The alarms built into these devices are designed to get your attention and wake you when you're sleeping. Thankfully, the newer radios with SAME code technology will only go off when your county is placed under a warning. WAVE 3, Kroger, and Midland Radio are continuing a long-running partnership to make affordable weather radios available in Kroger stores across the area. These make great gifts!
Coverage on WAVE 3. As always, we'll be on TV with coverage when breaking weather happens. We have a very strong team of six hometown, degreed meteorologists who know severe weather and this area well. Our technology allows us to show you very clearly where storms will hit even before warnings are issued. This keeps you one step ahead of the storm so that you can be ready when the time comes to take action. Our coverage is also streamed LIVE on your iPhone, iPad, or Android device through our WAVE 3 Weather and WAVE 3 News apps. This is a great way to keep up with what's going on when you're away from a TV or in your tornado safe place with no TV nearby.
Alert Your Friends! Not everyone may be paying attention to what's going on with the weather or have a good way of getting weather alerts. Let your friends know about our text alerts and app offerings so that they'll be safe too! When severe weather happens it's also not a bad idea to give friends and family a call in areas that will be affected to make sure they're paying attention. We're all in this together!
Once you're notified that a tornado warning has been issued for your location do you know what to do next? Here are some things that you should do when this happens:
- Get to the lowest part of your home that you can, preferrably a basement
- A central room or closet on the first floor is best if you don't have a basement
- Stay away from doors and windows
- Cover your body with a mattress, sleeping bag, or blanket for added protection
- Wear sturdy, comfortable shoes while in your safe place
- If you have any sort of helmet (bicycle, motorcycle, etc), put it on to protect your head
- Evacuate mobile homes and go to a building nearby
You may want to have some of these things, like helmets and shoes, ready ahead of time so that you're not scrambling to find items after a tornado warning is issued. If you live in a mobile home you'll want to plan out where you'll go nearby before severe weather strikes so that you'll know exactly what to do when storms are approaching.
I hope this toolbox of information helps you as you prepare for the coming severe weather season. Be sure to share this post with your friends so that everyone will know what to do when bad weather comes our way!