Expert: Have plans for severe weatherThe deadly tornadoes this week in Minneapolis and Joplin, Mo., offer a jarring reminder: Seasonal severe weather has descended upon the Midwest.
By: By Kristen M. Daum, Forum Communications Co., The Jamestown Sun
FARGO — The deadly tornadoes this week in Minneapolis and Joplin, Mo., offer a jarring reminder: Seasonal severe weather has descended upon the Midwest.
Although advancements in technology have made for improved warning systems to minimize the chance of tragedy, sometimes a quick family discussion can make all the difference.
“The biggest thing is families need to have a plan,” WDAY Chief Meteorologist John Wheeler said. “When the warning sirens do sound is not the time to decide what you’re going to do.”
Wheeler advises families to discuss different scenarios so there’s an understanding of what to expect during a storm and who family members might try to call in order to stay in touch with one another.
Often times, when the sirens sound to alert of a tornado in Fargo-Moorhead, it might not lead to destruction — but that doesn’t mean residents shouldn’t take action to protect themselves, Wheeler said.
“The fact is: Incidents like Joplin are the real deal,” he said. “And when the real deal happens, it’s good to have a plan in place.”
Here are some tips offered by Wheeler and the National Weather Service:
* Monitor the weather for rapidly changing conditions, especially when it’s warm, humid and windy.
* Buy a certified NOAA Weather Radio and back-up battery for your home.
* Sign up to receive mobile weather alerts either through Inforum or Cass County’s CodeRED emergency system.
* Always take weather warnings seriously.
* When a warning is issued for your area, tune in to your local TV or radio station for more details as the storm passes.
* Designate a safe room in your home that can protect you against extreme winds or other storm damage. The safest areas of a home are in a basement, underground or a small, windowless interior room on the lowest level of the building, such as a bathroom or closet. Take shelter there in the event of severe weather.
Kristen Daum is a reporter at The Forum of Fargo-Moorhead, which is owned by Forum Communications Co.