JACKSON, MISS– This week is Spring Severe Weather Preparedness Week, and the News Mississippi is showing you how to be prepared for severe thunderstorms.
The National Weather Service defines a severe thunderstorm as one that can or does produce hail at least 1 inch in diameter or has wind gusts of at least 58 miles per hour. With thunderstorms, you’ll see lightning, which kills more people some years than tornadoes or hurricanes. Heavy rain from thunderstorms can cause flash flooding. High winds can damage homes and blow down trees and utility poles, causing widespread power outages. People are often killed during these storms because they didn’t hear or ignored severe thunderstorms warnings, or they were not prepared.
The National Weather Service says there are ways to be prepared for severe thunderstorms:
- Listen to local news or NOAA Weather Radio for emergency updates. If your’e not near a radio or media outlet, watch for signs of a storm, like darkening skies, lightning flashes or increasing wind.
- If thunder roars, go indoors! Don’t wait for rain. You can be struck by lightning if you can hear the thunder.
- Avoid electrical equipment and corded telephones. Cordless phones, cell phones and other wireless handheld devices are safe to use.
- Get away from windows.
- If you are driving, pull over either on the side of the road, or at a nearby exit and take shelter in a building. If you must stay in the vehicle on the side of the road, turn on the emergency flashers until the heavy rain ends.
- If you are outside and cannot reach a safe building, avoid high ground; water; tall, isolated trees; and metal objects such as fences or bleachers. Picnic shelters, dugouts and sheds are NOT safe.
News Mississippi will continue to keep you informed of preparedness tips through the week. Severe weather is predicted for Tuesday.