Severe weather can occur any time of the year in the South, so we need to be prepared at all times.
Keep in mind that severe thunderstorms can contain straight-line winds that are as destructive as some tornadoes. Take cover from severe thunderstorm warnings just as you would a tornado.
Know the difference between a watch and a warning.
Make sure you stay tuned to Meteorologist Mark in the days leading up to the storms and during the storms. Rely on me to prepare you before and during the event. Rely on the NWS to issue warnings during the event, as only they can officially issue warnings.
Before the Storm
Get a weather radio. I recommend a Midland weather radio. They are available on Amazon, Walmart, and at Midland Weather Radio’s site. It’s not uncommon for radios to be unavailable in the spring months, so order yours before everyone else does.
Download the Cumberland County EMA app. Another good app is the Red Cross Tornado app.
Have multiple ways to get warnings. Have a weather radio, an app, radio, tv, someone to call/text.
Get a helmet. Protecting the head from flying debris is critical.
Have a battery-powered radio to keep up with the latest info.
Get a whistle(s). If you or someone in your household need to be found, having a whistle to blow can help searchers locate you.
Reflective vests can make you easier to spot, as well.
Have something fun/distracting for the kids to do, such as puzzles, games, cards, etc.
Decide where the family will meet after the storm if you’re separated. Keep in mind that cell phones usually don’t work in the aftermath of a bad storm. Make sure the meeting place is a place that can’t be destroyed by the storm, such as a driveway or other ground landmark nearby.
Stress the importance of staying away from downed powerlines, especially to the kids.
If you live in a mobile home, make plans now for sturdier shelter. If you have a neighbor with sturdier shelter just ask if you can come over for a few minutes if a warning is issued.
Finally, prepare for long-duration power outages.
Also, make sure you know where you’re at. Know your county’s name and the names of the surrounding counties. It’s also a good idea to know the name of your community and surrounding communities. Know where you are relative to Crossville and Jamestown (ie. north, south, etc.). North is at the top of the map below. East is to the right.
During the Storm
Always go to the lowest level of the house. Then, get in the middle of the house and put as many walls as you can between you and the storm and take cover. Don’t focus on getting in the bathtub if that tub shares an outside wall. Being in the center of the building is the most important part.
Keep your shoes on. Walking on broken glass is no fun.
Put pets in carriers for their protection. Also, pets tend to run away after storms, especially cats.
It’s a good idea to make sure you know where important papers are. A safety deposit box for original copies of important documents could save you a lot of trouble.
Got sentimental pictures in the house? Take a picture of them. Better yet, scan them and save them digitally, just in case you lose them.
In rare cases, a specialized warning will be issued called a particular dangerous situation. Take these very seriously. If a rare tornado emergency is issued take that very seriously, as well.
For more info on the weather radio, please visit https://meteorologistmark.com/noaa-weather-radio/