Prepare ahead of time when severe weather is forecast

Published 7:00 pm Wednesday, April 10, 2013

With spring, comes the ever-present prospect of dangerous weather.

Following on the heels of the 80-degree weather, the Wednesday afternoon and evening forecast includes the possibility of thunderstorms, some potentially severe.

Area residents should be vigilant and ready to take cover if a tornado watch or warning is announced. Keep in mind that severe thunderstorms always have the possibility of spawning a tornado, so it’s better to err on the side of caution than risk danger.

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The Red Cross recently offered the following severe weather preparedness tips:

Choose a safe place where you and your family members will gather in the event of a severe storm. Be sure your safe spot is away from windows, doors or skylights.

Ensure your pets are safely inside a secure building or in your home when bad weather threatens.

Prepare an emergency kit with first aid supplies and necessary medications. Include some bottled water and dry or canned food (don’t forget a manual can opener). Also make sure the kit contains flashlights and a battery-operated radio. Extra batteries also should be included.

Make sure you understand what the various storm warnings mean. A severe storm watch means there is a possibility for severe weather. If you are in a watch area, make sure you stay informed and prepared in case the weather worsens.

A severe storm warning means severe weather has been reported or spotted on radar. A tornado warning indicates there is imminent danger, and you should go to a safe place.

Also remember that lightning in and of itself is a hazard. If you hear thunder, there is lightning somewhere.

Be careful and stay safe this spring.