If you live in an area where tornadoes are common, it’s extremely important to understand the difference between a mere tornado watch and a more serious tornado warning, as well as what to do in either circumstance. In fact, even if you don’t live in a “tornado zone,” knowing how to distinguish between the two is necessary since tornadoes can strike anytime, anywhere. Knowing what to do for the situation at hand could just save your life!
A tornado watch, as mentioned, isn’t quite as serious as a warning. A watch is issued when there are favorable conditions for a tornado to form. Under a watch, you can go on about your normal day, but you should have a plan in place in case the watch turns into a warning, and you should continue to check the weather reports.
More serious than a watch is a tornado warning. Warnings are only issued when one or more tornadoes has formed and has been seen in or close to your area. When a warning is issued, the following are things you must be sure to do:
l Take shelter in a strong, sturdy building or home
l Get low to the ground, and cover your head
l Go to the lowest floor of the home
l Try to be as close to the center of the room as possible.
l Stay tuned to the radio for updates and information
l Have backup power or flashlights and candles
l Have adequate non-perishable food and water available
No one wants to go through a tornado, but tornadoes can and do happen. When they do, knowing the difference between a watch and a warning and acting appropriately can make all the difference.