Spring Storm Safety
Spring is a time of new beginnings – when the birds begin to sing again, flowers start to bloom and the leaves form on branches. It’s also a good time to start thinking about storm safety. Remember the adage “April showers bring May flowers”? Well, it’s nearly April, and those showers are coming.
It’s important to be prepared – but not scared – of possible storms, especially if you have kids. Children frequently pick up on adults’ nervousness and will react as well. In addition, many children – especially young children – find the thunder and lightning scary. But if you stay calm, they will, too. Here’s a primer on storm safety:
- Storm watches are put in place when conditions are favorable for a storm to develop.
- Warnings are issued when the National Weather Service has data showing that severe weather is imminent. Severe thunderstorm and tornado warnings are relayed to local radio and television stations to warn their audiences, and are broadcast over local NOAA Weather Radio stations serving the warned areas as well. Local emergency management and public safety officials are also notified of the warnings, and can then activate local warning systems, such as tornado sirens, to alert communities.
Spring is a good time to create a storm plan so that you and your family can be prepared if severe weather strikes. Keep flashlights and candles at the ready and in a convenient place for anyone to grab in an emergency. Make sure that everyone knows to come inside immediately if the sky looks threatening or if watches or warnings are posted. Any pets that are outdoors should be brought in or given shelter from the storm as well. Remember, if you can hear thunder, a storm is close enough that lightning strikes are possible. Head for shelter immediately, preferably indoors and away from windows. If you can, have a storm shelter set up, or designate a corner of your basement as a storm area. Stock the area with extra bottled water, non-perishable snacks and books or activities to keep you and your kids occupied during a storm.
Planning ahead can also help to keep kids calm if severe weather strikes. Having a plan and sticking to it can calm their fears and help everyone to weather the storm.