Spring arrived this week and while this is a promise of warmer weather it also brings its own set of challenges.

Spring arrived this week and while this is a promise of warmer weather it also brings its own set of challenges.

Do you and your family know what to do in the event of a tornado in your area? Do you live in an area prone to flash flooding? We will spend the next two articles discussing the dangers Spring weather brings us and what we can do to be prepared.

Friday evening last week we heard the first indication of springs pending arrival, tornado sirens going off. Many areas are not covered by tornado sirens, so what other options are available. There are several, and by incorporating more than one you increase your odds of getting this crucial information in a timely manner.

Osage Beach Fire offers a free text messaging service that sends out severe weather alerts for this area. Simply text the letters OBFIRE to this number- 59925 and you will automatically receive the alerts.

Weather radios are sold at most stores that sell electronics, these radios are programmed to alert whenever severe weather is threatening your area. Most of these can be battery operated so that even during power outages you get this critical information.

Radio and Television will break into regular broadcasting to alert their listening areas of severe weather. Make sure you are tuned to a local station so that the alerts are appropriate for your specific area.

Many smart phones now have the ability to alert you to severe weather based on the GPS fix of your phone. This allows you to get alerts when you are on the road traveling out of the area.

If you are at home during a tornado:

• Go to a windowless interior room on lowest level of your house. Go to a storm cellar or basement if your house has one. If a basement is not an option, go to an inner hallway or inner room without windows, such as a bathroom or closet.

• Stay clear of windows.

• Go to the center of the room, corners tend to collect debris.

• Get under a piece of sturdy furniture. If you are in a mobile home, get out and find shelter elsewhere. If you are at work or school during a tornado:

• Go to the basement or to an inside hallway at the lowest level.

• Avoid places with wide-span roofs such as auditoriums, cafeterias, large hallways, or shopping malls.

• Get under a piece of sturdy furniture such as a workbench or heavy table or desk and hold on to it. If you are outdoors:

• If shelter is not available or there is no time to get indoors, lie in a ditch or low-lying area or crouch near a strong building. If you are in a car:

• Never try to outrun a tornado in a vehicle.

• Exit the car immediately and take shelter in a nearby building.

• If there is no time to get indoors, get out of the car and lie in a ditch or low-lying area away from the vehicle.

Now is the time to make sure you and your family are prepared for spring in Missouri.