Monitor vs. Warn, 10 More Things to Know to Stay Safe – Boston 25 News

Monitor vs. Warn, 10 More Things to Know to Stay Safe – Boston 25 News

Tornadoes may not be very common in New England, but it’s important to know what to do if they do happen, especially with the threat of severe weather on Thursday.

When the National Weather Service tells you to be informed, you need to know what to do. You can find a complete Severe Weather Safety Guide from the NWS here.

You can find tornado safety tips from the Massachusetts Emergency Management Agency here.

Here are 10 tornado safety tips:

What is the difference between a tornado watch and a tornado warning issued by the National Weather Service?

  • Tornado watch: be ready! Tornadoes are possible in and near the watch area. Review and discuss your emergency plans and check your supplies and safe room. Be prepared to act quickly if a warning is issued or you suspect an approaching tornado. Acting early helps save lives! Watches are issued by the Storm Prediction Center for counties where tornadoes may occur. The monitoring area is usually large, covering several provinces or even states.
  • Tornado warning: Take action! A tornado has been seen or indicated by weather radar. There is imminent danger to life and property. Go to an interior room in the basement of a solid building. Avoid windows. If you are in a mobile home, vehicle or outdoors, move to the nearest large shelter and protect yourself from flying debris. Warnings are issued by your local forecast office. Warnings typically include a much smaller area (about the size of a small city or county) that may be affected by a tornado identified by a forecaster on radar or by a trained spotter/law enforcement monitoring the storm.
  • Watch for severe thunderstorms: be ready! Severe thunderstorms are possible in and near the watching area. Stay informed and be prepared to act if a severe thunderstorm warning is issued. Watches are issued by the Storm Prediction Center for counties where severe thunderstorms may occur. The monitoring area is usually large, covering several provinces or even states.
  • Severe thunderstorm warning: Take action! Severe weather conditions were reported by spotters or indicated by radar. Warnings indicate imminent danger to life and property. Take cover in a large building. Move out of mobile homes that can be blown away by high winds. Warnings are issued by your local forecast office. Warnings typically cover a much smaller area (about the size of a city or county) that may be affected by an ongoing severe thunderstorm.

1) You have multiple ways to get warnings

2) As soon as a tornado warning is issued, go downstairs for cover. If you don’t have a basement, find an interior room away from windows. The idea is to put as many walls as possible between you and the outdoors.

3) Debris is the No. 1 killer in tornadoes. If you have time, wear a bike helmet. If not, try protecting yourself from debris with a mattress or pillow.

4) If possible, try to avoid the southwest corner of your home when seeking shelter. Most tornadic storms will come from this direction.

5) Do not try to open windows to equalize the pressure. This is a myth that will leave you little time to get to safety.

6) If you are on the road and see a tornado, pull over and seek shelter in a sturdy building. Try to avoid large retail stores that offer little protection due to the materials their surfaces are made of.

7) If you are on the road and there is no shelter, find a ditch or low area, lie flat and cover your head.

8) If you are on the road, you can also stop your car and lower your head under the windshield. Make sure your seat belt is on.

9) Prepare an emergency kit and plan before a hurricane strikes.

10) Avoid walking around outside after a hurricane hits as power lines may be down. Wait for emergency officials.

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