As spring arrives, it brings with it warmer weather, blossoming trees and flowers, singing birds, and severe weather such as hail, high winds, and tornadoes. Each year, many people across the United States are killed or seriously injured by the severe weather spring brings. Every state across the country has experienced some type of severe weather at one time or another, exposing everyone to some degree of risk. NOAA’s National Weather Service (NWS) provides many resources that can help you, your family, and your community plan and prepare for what nature brings this time of year.
When preparing for the possibility of severe weather, the most important steps include knowing your risk, planning ahead, and practicing how and where to take shelter. Being prepared to act quickly can be a matter of life and death. Ready.gov provides resources and information on how to prepare an emergency supply kit and how to ensure you have an emergency plan in place. To guarantee you have access to accurate information when you need it most, you should have as many as three different sources for severe weather alerts. Storms often result in power and television outages, but a NOAA Weather Radio can alert you anytime when watches and warnings are issued for your area. Many mobile device applications also provide severe weather alerts at little to no cost. Weather.gov, the NWS Weather Wire Service, and Wireless Emergency Alerts are also available for access to the latest weather alerts. You can subscribe to Email and SMS weather alerts at http://www.weather.gov/subscribe.
In addition to your local weather forecast, NOAA’s Storm Prediction Center provides nationwide outlooks for potential severe weather including severe storms, tornadoes, wildfires, and more. Your local NWS Forecast Office website can provide you with detailed information about the nature and timing of the threat if the potential for severe weather exists in your area. To find your local forecast office information, visit Weather.gov and click on your location on the map. The latest watch and warning information for your area will be available on your local office’s webpage. You can also track storms across the country with the NWS radar at www.weather.gov/Radar.
Just a little forethought and preparation can keep you safe when severe weather threatens.
For more information about tornadoes, visit the Storm Prediction Center’s Frequently Asked Questions about Tornadoes page.