As spring arrives, so does the threat of severe weather. Severe weather can include thunderstorms with dangerous lightning and high winds, flash floods to tornadoes. It’s too late to prepare once a storm warning is issued.

As spring arrives, so does the threat of severe weather. Severe weather can include thunderstorms with dangerous lightning and high winds, flash floods to tornadoes. It’s too late to prepare once a storm warning is issued.

March 2 through March 6, is designated as Severe Weather Preparedness Week in Missouri. Now is the time to plan ahead and be ready. Find out what you can do before severe weather strikes. Preparation is the key to staying safe and minimizing impacts. 

•Be weather-ready. Check the forecast frequently when there’s a forecast calling for storms. A good investment is a NOAA Weather Radio to alert you when storms are in your area.

•Sign up for notifications. Find out what agencies in your community sent out alerts with either warnings. Many lake area communities have sirens that are intended to be a warning system for outdoor use and may not be detected by those indoors. 

•Create a communication plan. Have a family plan that includes an emergency meeting place and related information. Pick a safe room in your home such as a basement, storm cellar or interior room on the lost floor with no windows. For more inflation check out www.ready.gov. 

•Practice the plan. Make sure everyone knows what to do and where to go. Don’t forget the pets if there is time to gather them up and take shelter. 

•Prepare your home. Keep trees and branches trimmed near the house. If you time before a storm hits, secure loose objects, close windows and doors and move any valuable objects inside or under a structure. 

•Plan ahead with survival kits. One for home and one for your vehicle. Medications, water, flashlight and other items that you would need in an emergency should be kept on hand. Don’t forget pet supplies, too. 

•Help your neighbor. Be sure and check on neighbors before and after storms. Some communities offer classes in emergency response to train community members to help out in the aftermath of an emergency. 

Know the Terms:

•Severe Thunderstorm Watch

Tells when and where severe thunderstorms are likely to occur. Watch the sky and stay tuned to weather reports. A weather radio is the best defense against being caught off-guard. 

•Severe Thunderstorm Warning

Issued when weather has been reported by spotters or indicated by radar. Warnings indicate imminent danger to life and property to those in the path of the storm. 

•Tornado Watch 

Tornadoes are possible. Remain alert for approaching storms. Watch the weather conditions and stay tuned to weather reports. 

•Tornado Warning

A tornado has been sighted or indicated by either radar. Take shelter immediately.

•Flood Watch 

Flooding is possible. Stay tuned to current weather reports. 

•Flood Warning

Flooding is occurring or will occur soon in your area. If advised to evacuate, do so immediately and move to higher ground for safety. 

•Flash food Watch

Flash flooding is possible. Be prepared to move to higher ground. Be careful crossing low water bridges and traveling through areas prone to flooding. Stay tuned to weather reports. 

•Flash Flood Warning

A flash flood is occurring or is imminent. Seek higher ground immediately. 

Information provided by SEMA, FEMA and NOAA.