Keep alert as severe weather may comeFew things are more devastating and terrifying than a tornado. The headlines from Minneapolis and Joplin, Mo., testify to the fact that destruction of property and loss of life can occur rapidly in catastrophic fashion.
Few things are more devastating and terrifying than a tornado.
The headlines from Minneapolis and Joplin, Mo., testify to the fact that destruction of property and loss of life can occur rapidly in catastrophic fashion.
But modern forecasting techniques mean we usually have some warning before severe weather strikes. The public needs to take responsibility for monitoring these warnings and react appropriately.
The National Weather Service issues watches and warnings for these storms, as conditions warrant, all summer long. The electronic media, storm-warning sirens and the Internet make this information available to anyone who wants to be informed.
Know that a tornado or severe thunderstorm watch means that conditions are favorable for severe weather to develop and watch for the formation of storms.
A weather warning means a severe thunderstorm or tornado has already occurred nearby and the public is warned to take the appropriate action to protect property and life.
Monitor local electronic media, including locally operated cable television, for watches and warnings. This type of weather information is not available on satellite radio or television or from out-of-town media outlets.
And make a plan of how to react before the sirens blow. Talk to all family members about taking shelter in the basement or an interior room on the lowest level. If you live in a mobile home assume that there is no safe place within your home in a storm. Make arrangements with friends or family who have a basement or plan to seek shelter in the lower level of the Stutsman County Law Enforcement, Center which serves as an emergency shelter.
Teach older children how to respond to warnings if they are home alone and have a plan for maintaining contact through or after a storm.
No one controls the severity or path of the weather, but they do control how they respond when nature gets rough.
Weather watches and warnings give each individual the opportunity to take the best possible actions to protect themselves from harm.
(Editorials are the opinion of Jamestown Sun management and the newspaper’s editorial board)