In this part of the country, spring is almost synonomous with severe weather.
To prepare us for the season, the Brookhaven College Police Department refreshes our memories of the differences between tornado watches and warnings and what to do (and not do) when severe weather strikes.
A tornado watch is issued to alert the public to the possibility of a tornado developing in the area. At this point, a tornado has not been seen but the conditions are favorable for a tornado to occur at any moment.
What should we do?
- Keep alert and watch for changing weather conditions.
- Listen to your local news reports and weather updates.
- Review your family or business emergency preparedness plan.
- Review your disaster kit.
- Be ready to seek shelter at a moment's notice.
What should we "watch" for during a tornado watch?
- Dark greenish or orange-gray skies
- Large hail
- Large, dark, low-lying, rotating or funnel-shaped clouds
- A loud roar that is similar to a freight train
A tornado warning is issued when a tornado has been sighted or has been picked up on radar in your area. Take shelter immediately in a safe, sturdy structure.
What should we do?
- Take shelter immediately on the first floor or basement of your building or home, away from all windows.
- Listen to your local radio for updates.
- Follow the Brookhaven College Emergency Reference Procedures for Severe Weather.
What should we avoid?
- Do not stay in a mobile home, as they offer very little protection from tornadoes.
- Do not open windows in your home or business.
- Do not try to “outrun” a tornado in a car.
- Do not take shelter under a highway overpass or bridge, as you will be exposing yourself to flying debris and stronger winds.
Brookhaven College Emergency Reference Procedures for Severe Weather Warning
- Find shelter in a "Tornado Safer Zone."
- Roles of Coordinators/Teachers: Move students out of hallways and areas with glass windows.
- Wait for an all-clear from the Police Department and further instructions for relocation.