Preparing for fall severe weather

By Justin Logan - bio | email feedback

Jonesboro, AR (KAIT) - When the sun is out and the leaves are changing colors the last thing we think about is severe weather. But, as many in Region 8 know, severe weather can occur anytime of the year.

We are heading into our second severe weather season and Wednesday was recognized as Severe Weather Awareness Day across the entire mid-south.

The National Weather Service, Emergency Management and the media teamed up to make sure the public is prepared. National Weather Service meteorologist Richard Okulski said we should be prepared at all times.

He said, "We want to make people aware not just that our primary season starts, start looking at the weather in February is that you can get significant severe weather events in October and November as well."

You have heard us talk about the importance of having a NOAA weather radio. They're like a smoke detector, a life saving tool. When severe weather occurs it will alert you no matter the time.

Okulski said they completed a mock tornado drill over the radio Wednesday morning, but it wasn't just for the weather service.

"Emergency managers, schools, people that participate can do drills, severe weather drills. Using that routine weekly test."

Okulski said you shouldn't take severe weather awareness day lightly, even if the weather is calm because it can change in an instant.

"Situational awareness is extremely important in terms of weather. Particularly severe weather, where your decision making process can be in minutes in terms of making the right decision and getting to your safest location."

The safest place to be during a tornado is in a basement. If you don't have a basement, go to the lowest floor of your home into an interior room without windows.

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