JONESBORO, AR (KAIT) - When the sun is out we often don't think about severe weather, but storms can happen any time, day or night.
However, overnight storms can be the worst because that's when people are sleeping. The mid-south is an area that has more tornado-related fatalities than any part of the United States. One reason is the higher likelihood of nighttime tornadoes.
Jack Richardson said, "It comes bedtime and we go to bed. No one's up to watch it."
Richardson is the former Craighead County Office of Emergency Management Director. He remembers tornadoes moving across the area in the 1970's.
Richardson said, "No tornado sirens. There were no weather radios. The storm happened and if you happened to have your television on you may have found out."
Although radar was available during that time, the technology wasn't nearly as advanced as it is today.
"Plastic sheet that we put over the front of the television taped on there with the counties drawn on in grease pencil so we could see where the storms were," said Richardson.
Now you can be sleeping and depend on your NOAA Weather Radio to wake you up.
"The SAME weather radio was really a good step in the right direction," said Richardson.
If you don't have a NOAA Weather Radio, there are multiple services that will send warnings and advisories to your cell phone.
"The smartphones and the technology that has allowed it to become right there on your person 24/7 if that's how you carry your phone," said Richardson.
You can now even wake up to find advisories along with radar on your television screen. The bottom line is to be aware and have a severe weather plan in place.
Richardson said, "Make it personal. Take care of yourself and your family."
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