Indiana University Northwest
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Office of Environmental Health and Safety

Office of Environmental Health and Safety

Severe Storms

Severe Storms

Severe spring and summer storms bring tornadoes, flooding, and lighting damage to many states across the country.  If a severe storm was approaching, would you know what to do?  Here are some important safety tips to consider:

  • Keep an eye on the sky.  Look for darkening skies, flashes of light, or increasing wind.  Listen for the sound of thunder.  If you can hear thunder, you are close enough to the storm to be struck by lightning.
  • Listen to NOAA Weather Radio, The Weather Channel, or local television news for the latest forecast.
  • Find shelter on the lowest floor of a sturdy building when a storm approaches.  If you cannot get inside to shelter, squat low near the ground in an open area.  Lying flat on the ground is not recommended, because it puts more of your body into contact with the ground, an excellent conductor of electricity from lightning.
  • Draw blinds and shades over windows.  If windows break due to objects blown by the wind, the shades may prevent glass from shattering into your home.
  • If you are in a mobile home or car during severe weather and conditions are right for a tornado, get out of the mobile home or car and find sturdy shelter elsewhere.
  • Some storms can happen quickly and sometimes without warning.  Residents are urged to get ready for severe storms now, while they have time to prepare.

Terms Defined:

  • Tornado Watch:  a tornado is "possible" in your area.
  • Tornado Warning:  a tornado has actually been spotted, or is strongly indicated on radar, and it is time to go to a safe shelter immediately.