Why the Nashville tornado was so dangerous, and how to prepare for unexpected severe weather

Late-night tornados are particularly dangerous because people are asleep

RICHMOND, Va. (WWBT) - The EF-3 tornado that struck Nashville and took at least 25 lives was a tragic reminder about the added danger of severe weather when it occurs at night.

The Nashville tornado was a worst-case scenario for several reasons. It was a powerful tornado that hit a major metro area after midnight, when many people may have been asleep and did not receive warnings.

The Nashville tornado was a worst case scenario because it struck a major metro area late at night, when it is harder for people to receive warnings.
The Nashville tornado was a worst case scenario because it struck a major metro area late at night, when it is harder for people to receive warnings. (Source: WWBT)

As the spring severe storm season ramps up here in Virginia, there are a few things you can do right now to be prepared before storms strike.

Make sure you have multiple ways to receive a warning, including late at night. Downloading the NBC12 First Alert Weather App is a great way to stay informed with push alerts sent out when a warning is issued for your area. Those app alerts will make noise and can wake you up if you are asleep. In the settings section of the NBC12 First Alert Weather App you can select which types of warning you wish to receive notifications about.

Cell phones should also receive an alert automatically through the WEA (Wireless Emergency Alerts) system.

Do NOT rely on sirens to wake you up if a warning is issued. Sirens are designed to be heard outdoors as a warning to move inside. Sirens may not be heard indoors, especially if you are asleep.

One of the best ways to receive warnings late at night is from your phone.
One of the best ways to receive warnings late at night is from your phone. (Source: WWBT)

Tornadoes and severe storms strike quickly, so it’s important to know where you will go before a storm arrives.

The safest place to seek shelter is in a basement if you have a basement available. If no basement is available, an interior room such as a hallway, staircase, closet, or bathroom is the next best option.

Mobile homes are not a safe place to seek shelter in a tornado. If a tornado warning is issued, leave the mobile home and seek shelter in a sturdy building.

The safest place to seek shelter if a tornado warning is issued is in your basement.
The safest place to seek shelter if a tornado warning is issued is in your basement. (Source: WWBT)

Copyright 2020 WWBT. All rights reserved.