Severe Thunderstorm & Tornado Safety - WECT TV6-WECT.com:News, weather & sports Wilmington, NC

Severe Thunderstorm & Tornado Safety

Severe weather can and will affect the Coastal Carolinas.  One thing we at WECT-TV try to teach is that education is the key when it comes to protecting you and your family from severe weather.  Below we have compiled some fantastic information from the American Red Cross.  The information below takes you step-by-step through what you should do during a severe weather event to protect you and your family.

Stay Tuned for Storm Warnings

  • Listen to your local radio and WECT-TV for updated storm information.
  • Know what a tornado WATCH and WARNING means:
    • A tornado WATCH means a tornado is possible in your area.
    • A tornado WARNING means a tornado has been sighted and may be headed for your area. Go to safety immediately.
  • Tornado WATCHES and WARNINGS are issued by county or parish.

When a Tornado WATCH Is Issued...

  • Listen to local radio and WECT-TV for further updates.
  • Be alert to changing weather conditions. Blowing debris or the sound of an approaching tornado may alert you. Many people say it sounds like a freight train.

When a Tornado WARNING Is Issued...

  • If you are inside, go to the safe place you picked to protect yourself from glass and other flying objects. The tornado may be approaching your area.
  • If you are outside, hurry to the basement of a nearby sturdy building or lie flat in a ditch or low-lying area.
  • If you are in a car or mobile home, get out immediately and head for safety (as above).

After the Tornado Passes...

  • Watch out for fallen power lines and stay out of the damaged area.
  • Listen to the radio and WECT-TV for information and instructions.
  • Use a flashlight to inspect your home for damage.
  • Do not use candles at any time.

When a Thunderstorm Approaches...

  • Find shelter in a building or car. Keep car windows closed and avoid convertibles.
  • Telephone lines and metal pipes can conduct electricity. Unplug appliances. Avoid using the telephone or any electrical appliances. (Leaving electric lights on, however, does not increase the chances of your home being struck by lightning.)
  • Avoid taking a bath or shower, or running water for any other purpose.
  • Turn off the air conditioner. Power surges from lightning can overload the compressor, resulting in a costly repair job!
  • Draw blinds and shades over windows. If windows break due to objects blown by the wind, the shades will prevent glass from shattering into your home.

If Caught Outside...

  • If you are in the woods, take shelter under the shorter trees.
  • If you are boating or swimming, get to land and find shelter immediately!

Protecting Yourself Outside...

  • Go to a low-lying, open place away from trees, poles, or metal objects. Make sure the place you pick is not subject to flooding.
  • Be a very small target! Squat low to the ground. Place your hands on your knees with your head between them. Make yourself the smallest target possible.
  • Do not lie flat on the ground--this will make you a larger target!

After the Storm Passes...

  • Stay away from storm-damaged areas.
  • Listen to the radio and WECT-TV for information and instructions.

The above contains information from The National Weather Service and The American Red Cross.

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