Monday, April 16, 2012

Be Prepared for Severe Weather

Village public safety officials are alerting citizens to be prepared and vigilant for severe weather, including tornadoes. Understanding risk is an important part of tornado safety. Fortunately, most tornado warnings turn out to be just severe thunderstorms. But tornadoes form with little or no warning and their paths are completely unpredictable. They can also be transparent until they touch down. As a result of the severity of risk related to severe weather, everyone should take immediate action when a tornado warning is issued.
When a tornado warning is issued: Head for cover! Now! Don't wait for it to get bad, just go now. How long do you wait after reaching a shelter? The National Weather Service will specify how long the alert is in effect. Stay in your safe location until the alert expires. Tornadoes often form on the tail end of thunderstorms. So, it's important to stay in a safe location until the threat is completely past.

Tornado Warnings and Watches
A note about a tornado warning versus tornado watch: A watch means there may be possible tornado activity and you should be on alert for a tornado warning. A warning means that an actual tornado has been detected.

NOAA Weather Radio and Sirens
The most important thing you can do to prepare for tornado safety is get a NOAA Weather Radio. Get one that automatically alerts you of dangerous weather. Make sure you get a SAME capable radio so you don't get desensitized to alerts that don't pertain to you. Remember that Sirens are designed to alert persons outside. You may not hear them well inside your home.

Tornado Safety Cell Phone Alerts
You can also sign up for alerts on your cell phone from various weather sites. One site that provides this service is weather.com. Check the "Severe Weather Alerts" option. After you finish creating the alert click "edit settings" and select the "severe only" option. This will filter out the non-life threatening alerts.

Public Shelters
For residents who do not have safe shelter or lack a basement, two public shelter locations have been designated. In the event of a tornado siren sounding, the Bellevue Community Center /Fire Station #2 (1811 Allouez Ave) and Public Safety Building / Fire Station #1 (3100 Eaton Road) will be opened to accept citizens who wish to relocate to either shelter. Citizens should be encouraged to contact 911 for any other assistance.

For more information on tornado safety, visit the Federal Emergency Management Administration website at: http://www.fema.gov/hazard/tornado/index.shtm