How to stay safe when a tornado threatens Central Virginia
Five tips to keep you safe the next time tornadoes threaten
RICHMOND, Va. (WWBT) - From the devastating Petersburg tornado in 1993 to the tornadoes caused by the remnants of Hurricane Florence in 2018, Central Virginia is no stranger to tornadic storms.
Tornadoes are most common in Virginia from April through September, but tornadoes have happened in every month of the year in Virginia.
With severe weather season quickly approaching, here is a list of five things you should know now to be better prepared the next time severe storms are in our future:
1. Stay weather aware. That means checking the NBC12 First Alert forecast often to see if severe weather is possible.
2. Know the difference between a Tornado Watch and a Tornado Warning. A Tornado Watch means conditions are favorable for the possibility tornadoes could form in the next several hours.
A Tornado Warning means a tornado was spotted or is likely to develop within minutes, and you should take shelter immediately.
3. Have multiple ways to get a warning. You can download the NBC12 First Alert Weather app to get alerts straight to your phone and use an NOAA weather radio.
> You can find the NBC12 First Alert Weather app in the Apple Store and on Google Play.
4. Have a safe place to go if a warning is issued. Your best option is a basement. If you don’t have a basement, or maybe you’re at work, your next safest choice is in an interior room.
The idea is to put as many walls between yourself and the outside as possible. A closet may be your best option. It’s a good idea to keep a helmet in your safe place to protect your head.
5. If you’re in a car, try to drive to a sturdy building and go inside for shelter if you can do so safely. If you don’t have time to get to a building, your next best option is to pull off the road and stay in your car, duck down below the windows, and cover your head.
Never shelter under an overpass; it provides no protection because winds can get stronger underneath one.
If you follow these tips, you’ll put yourself in the best position to survive mother nature’s worst.
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