What’s The Difference Between a Tornado Watch and A Warning?

 In Insurance Advice, Tips

What’s The Difference Between a Tornado Watch and A Warning?

Ah, tornado season. Southwest Missouri is located right smack in the middle of “Tornado Alley” and currently we are in the peak time for this dangerous weather. Do you know the difference between a tornado watch and a warning? If you have lived in Missouri for a while, you know how chaotic and unpredictable the weather can be this time of year! Missouri is one of the top 10 states for tornado occurrences, and there is an average of 12 tornadoes  just in the month of May.  

So while there is always a chance you could be stuck in what seems like a scene from the Wizard of Oz, it’s probably a good idea to have an emergency game plan. Tornadoes usually happen faster than we can even realize, so we need to be prepared to think on our feet and know what to do.

The Difference Between a Tornado Watch and A Warning.

First, lets refresh what the difference is between a watch and a warning. A tornado watch means that a tornado is possible in the area. A tornado warning means there is a tornado occurring, or there will be. When there is a warning, you should seek shelter immediately.

Tornadoes can occur very quickly, sometimes with little or no warning at all. During the Spring/Summer seasons, it’s important to keep a close eye on the weather and to know what to look for. Some indications that a tornado might be coming would be dark or green/yellow clouds, a wall cloud, or a sudden break in heavy rain followed by hail. Here are some tips on how to prepare for a tornado:

Where Do I Go?

Figure out where to go during the tornado. If you have a basement go there, or find the smallest room without windows and closest to the ground as possible. Some community centers or school have public tornado shelters, research this option ahead of time and keep in mind your travel time. Check for the shelter at your place of work, or your child’s school so when the time comes you know exactly where to go.

What If I’m Driving?

If you a driving and notice the weather is starting to get bad, be aware of your surroundings and find somewhere to pull off where you could take shelter. Contrary to popular belief, bridges and overpasses are NOT safe to seek shelter under during a tornado. Find a rest area or a store to seek shelter in. If you have to remain in your vehicle, keep your seat belt on, the engine running, and your head below the window and covered with your hands or a blanket if possible.

How Do I Stay Updated?

Make sure you have access to the weather. Watch the news on TV, listen to the car radio, or invest in a weather radio that you can keep in your home to alert you. A weather radio is a good item to have on hand to receive accurate, up to date alerts in your area.

What About My Belongings?

Create an emergency kit. Essentially this would be a kit to have ready with things you would need if you have to take shelter, and could set it in a convenient place to quickly grab on the way to take cover. Some things you could include would be a pair of shoes, car keys, a change of clothes for all family members, diapers, bottled water, dog food or treats, and any medications you take regularly. These are all things that you would need with you if you were stranded for a period of time.

What Do I Do Once It’s Over?

After the storm has passed, don’t forget to follow instructions of local authorities and to stay sheltered until the all clear is given. Check in with your friends and family, let them know you are safe, and stay updated with the news or weather radio for updated information.

If you live in an area that is prone to dangerous weather, review your home and auto insurance policies. Make sure you know what is or isn’t covered. It’s better to be safe than sorry and end up with less coverage than you expected. Review your coverage amounts annually with your agent to ensure accuracy.   If you want to learn more about insurance policies that can help protect your home and vehicle during a storm, call our office at 417-882-1800 or stop by anytime to speak to one of our agents!

All of these steps can make the threat of incoming weather a little less stressful for you and your loved ones. There is a difference between a tornado watch and a warning but you must take both very seriously. A watch can turn into a warning in a blink of an eye. Never underestimate a storm and always be prepared!

Sources: 

1- http://www.ustornadoes.com/2016/04/06/annual-and-monthly-tornado-averages-across-the-united-states/

http://www.redcross.org/get-help/how-to-prepare-for-emergencies/types-of-emergencies/tornado#After

https://www.ready.gov/tornadoes

We are not permitted to offer, and no statement contained herein shall constitute, tax or legal advice. Individuals are encouraged to consult with a qualified professional before making any decisions about their personal situation. We are able to provide you with information but not guidance or advice related to federal benefits. Our firm is not affiliated with the U.S. government or any governmental agency.  Investment advisory services offered only by duly registered individuals through AE Wealth Management, LLC (AEWM). AEWM and The Resource Center are not affiliated companies.  AW05183279

 

 

 

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