Staying 4Warned: Do’s and don’ts if severe weather strikes

This is an archived article and the information in the article may be outdated. Please look at the time stamp on the story to see when it was last updated.

Severe Weather Safety Tips:

  • A “Tornado Watch” means conditions are favorable for the development of severe storms that may create tornadoes
  • A “Tornado Warning” means a tornado is developing or is actually on the ground
  • Find shelter inside and avoid windows: A basement, underground shelter or certified safe-room are your best options. If you do not have access to those, go to a closet or small interior room as shelter on the bottom floor.
  • Cover yourself with a mattress or heavy blankets and stay away from windows.
  • Use helmets, goggles and make sure to have heavy-soled shoes. You may also want to stock your safe area with bottled water and a coat or jacket for each person.
  • Do not take shelter in a manufactured home.

If you are on the road when a Tornado Warning is issued:

  • If you see a tornado leave your car and find shelter.
  • Do not seek shelter underneath a bridge or overpass.
  • If stranded outside, lie down in a low-lying area away from vehicles, but remain aware of possible flash flooding.
  • Do not seek shelter in drainage systems, culverts or ditches due to possible flash flooding.
  • Never try to outrun a tornado.
  • Wet roads mean poor traction. Conditions are the most dangerous during the first ten minutes of a heavy downpour as oil and debris wash away. Driving on wet roads in the rain is comparable to driving on ice. Go Slow. Allow extra time.
  • Never use your vehicle’s cruise control setting when roadways are slick.

Have a plan prepared prior to any storm watch or warning:

  • Designate a place to go if necessary when a tornado watch or warning is issued.
  • Designate a meeting place for friends or family if you are separated after a tornado strikes.
  • Have insurance policy numbers and your agent’s contact information.
  • Have key telephone numbers for your utility providers, including gas, water and electricity.
  • Make sure to have your cell phone fully charged before a storm or make sure you have an alternative power source available
  • Have a battery-operated or hand-crank radio or TV.
  • Make sure you have sturdy shoes, a jacket, jeans and helmets if possible.
  • Keep non-perishable snacks and bottled water on-hand.
  • Prepare your pet: pack food, water, medication, spare leash and a copy of vet records. Double check that your pet has collar and tags on.

Make sure you download the KFOR and 4WarnMe Apps on your smartphone. Live streaming is available to keep your family safe along with live radar.

Click here for what you should pack in your emergency preparedness kit.

Latest News

More News

National News

More National

Washington D.C.

More Washington DC Bureau

Your Local Election HQ

More Your Local Election HQ

Don't Miss

Latest News

More News


KFOR Podcasts

More Podcasts

Follow @KFOR on Twitter