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Severe Thunderstorm Watch and Warning Tips

Severe Thunderstorm WATCH: Be Prepared! Severe thunderstorms are possible in and near the watch area. The watch area is typically large, covering numerous counties or even states, and is issued far in advance of storms developing. This could be your first indication that severe weather is possible. Stay
informed and be ready to act if a severe thunderstorm warning is issued.

Severe Thunderstorm WARNING: Take Action! Severe weather has been reported by spotters or indicated by radar. Warnings indicate imminent danger to life and property. Take shelter in a substantial building. Get out of mobile homes that can blow over in high winds. Warnings typically encompass a much smaller area (around the size of a city or small county) that may be impacted by a large hail or damaging wind identified by an NWS (National Weather Service) forecaster on radar or by a trained spotter/law enforcement who is watching the storm.

It’s simple; Watch for Warnings!

Acting quickly is key to staying safe and minimizing impacts. What you should do when severe weather strikes:
• Stay Weather Ready: Review your severe weather. Continue to listen to local news or a NOAA Weather Radio to stay updated about severe thunderstorm watches and warnings.
• At Your House: Go to your safe location if you hear a severe thunderstorm warning. Damaging wind or large hail may be approaching. Take your pets with you if time allows.
• At Your Workplace or School: Stay away from windows if you are in a severe thunderstorm warning and damaging wind or large hail is approaching. Do not go to large open rooms such as cafeterias, gymnasiums or auditoriums.
• If Outside: Go inside a sturdy building immediately if severe thunderstorms are approaching. Sheds and storage facilities are not safe. Taking shelter under a tree can be deadly. The tree may fall on you. Standing under a tree also put you at a greater risk of getting struck by lightning.
• If in a Vehicle: Being in a vehicle during severe thunderstorms is safer than being outside; however, drive to closest sturdy building if there is sufficient time.