UPDATE (with video): Staying safe during a tornado
With the potential for isolated tornadoes in the southeast Monday night into Tuesday morning, here's a reminder of how to stay safe in a severe or tornado-producing storm.
If Paul, David or Nick says there's a Tornado Watch, it means tornadoes are possible and to be ready to take shelter. If they mention a Tornado Warning, it means a tornado is showing up on radar imagery and it is time to seek immediate shelter.
A weather radio's alert functions (once properly programmed) will warn you of severe weather as you sleep.
The Southeast Tennessee Red Cross offers tips on how to stay safe: get a kit, make a plan, be informed.
"If people learn nothing else, it's taking a few minutes of your time now will ensure that you and your family stay safe," said Greg Waite of the American Red Cross. "Hopefullywe walk through all this and it's just an exercise, but we saw what happened in Arkansas and Oklahoma yesterday. We know it's possible. We know we're in that moderate-slight risk."
The Red Cross also suggests to prepare for severe storms and tornadoes, you should:
Listen to local news or a NOAA Weather Radio to stay informed about tornado watches and warnings.
Having a secondary "rabbit ear" antenna system for your TV in the event cable or satellite signal goes down.
Know your community's warning system. Communities have different ways of warning residents about tornados, with many having sirens intended for outdoor warning purposes.
Pick a safe room in your home where household members and pets may gather during a tornado. This should be a basement, storm cellar or an interior room on the lowest floor with no windows.
Practice periodic tornado drills so that everyone knows what to do if a tornado is approaching.
Consider having your safe room reinforced. Plans for reinforcing an interior room to provide better protection can be found on the FEMA web site.
Prepare for high winds by removing diseased and damaged limbs from trees.
Move or secure lawn furniture, trash cans, hanging plants or anything else that can be picked up by the wind and become a projectile.
Watch for tornado danger signs:
Dark, often greenish clouds – a phenomenon caused by hail
Wall cloud – an isolated lowering of the base of a thunderstorm
Cloud of debris
Funnel cloud – a visible rotating extension of the cloud base