In this and the next articles, we want to help you protect your home and your family during inclement weather and severe storms. Below are the first four of nine tips for protecting you and your family during severe storms:
1) Make Sure You and Your Family are Weather-Aware
The key to keeping your family safe during severe weather is remaining weather-aware when storms are imminent. We are all aware of the criticism of meteorologists, “If I was wrong as often as the weatherman, I would be fired!” Weather-prediction is a challenging and developing science that is not always precise.
Nevertheless, following the news stations can help you know when to pay close attention to the clouds. Here are some tips for being weather-aware, so that summer storms do not catch you and your family by surprise:
- Follow Charlotte meteorologist Brad Panovich on Facebook
- Follow Asheville meteorologist Jason Boyer on Facebook
- Listen to FM or AM radio in the car, especially on days when severe weather is in the forecast
- Download a reliable weather app on your phone
- Remember that a 10% chance of storms is still a chance, but a 90% chance is not a guarantee
2) Know the Difference Between Watches and Warnings
A storm watch means that the atmospheric ingredients are in place for storms to develop, but there is not necessarily a storm in your area. A Severe Thunderstorm Watch for Buncombe County does not guarantee Arden will see severe weather.
A storm warning for Buncombe County means that there is severe weather somewhere in our area. Once a severe thunderstorm warning is issued, it is important to pay attention to the specific locations that will be affected by the storm.
These principles are true for flood and tornado watches and warnings. To our first point, the key to safety during weather situations is to know what meteorologists have predicted for the day, and heed their advice when warnings are issues.
3) Stay Away from Doors and Windows
When a severe thunderstorm or tornado warning is issued for our area, it is important to make sure your family is safely inside, away from doors and windows – the easiest part of your home for debris to penetrate. The safest place in your home is an interior room with no windows.
4) Practice Your Family’s Emergency Response Plan
Make sure you and your children know your family’s emergency response plan. You can make a fun game out of practicing your plan, awarding prizes to those who remember it. Your plan should include provisions for fire, flood, and storms:
- In case of fire, where do you meet?
- In case of storms, what is your safe room?
- Who is responsible for whom?
- What family members should be contacted by phone?