How to stay safe when tornadoes strike at night
Tornadoes typically have the lowest death toll from natural disasters, but at night, tornadoes are far more deadly than they are by day.
Having a plan in place to protect yourself and your family when severe weather is in the forecast is crucial, but perhaps even more so when there is a heightened risk of nocturnal tornadoes. Twisters are one of the most destructive weather events on Earth, but they pose an even greater risk when they strike under the cover of darkness.
Preparing a clear severe weather safety plan in advance of dangerous weather and then acting on it when a warning is issued can often make the difference between life and death, particularly when dangerous storms strike at night. In the case of a tornado, a few minutes may be the only lead time you have to seek shelter.
One of the simplest and most important preparations anyone can make is to install the free AccuWeather app on a smartphone and ensure that push notifications are turned on and the volume is turned up.
A leading independent quality assurance study overwhelmingly concluded that AccuWeather’s app was the first to deliver severe weather push notifications from the National Weather Service (NWS). Time is of the essence and AccuWeather's alerts are fast.
Plus, people have told AccuWeather that push notifications from the AccuWeather app "literally saved our lives" during a severe weather outbreak.
Apart from having the AccuWeather app installed and set to receive push notifications, ensuring that a cellphone is charged is essential.
Here are some other measures to take:
It's wise to also have a battery-powered weather radio on hand. In addition, a flashlight, bottled water, closed-toed shoes, and a big puffy blanket are crucial to have during nocturnal severe weather outbreaks.
Blankets or even a mattress can be used to shield your body and head from flying debris. A helmet can also offer protection for your head.
CLICK HERE FOR THE FREE ACCUWEATHER APP
Having a sturdy pair of close-toed shoes within arms reach is a critical safety precaution in the event that severe weather causes damage that you may have no choice but to walk through.
Beyond having a reliable weather app installed on a smartphone, and the above items at the ready, there are other precautions people should take, according to Becky DePodwin, a meteorologist and emergency preparedness specialist at AccuWeather.
“Everyone in the household should be aware of where their safe location is, which can be a designated tornado shelter," DePodwin said. She listed "the basement [in places that are] away from windows, an interior stairwell, or interior bathroom” as the best locations for sheltering during a tornado. Pets should also be included in emergency plans and be brought to a shelter with you when a warning is issued, she added.
Parents should talk with their children about where the safe locations are in the home and practice getting to them quickly so there is no hesitation when a tornado warning is issued.
A lightning strike snakes its way out of the clouds and across the skies towards the tree on ground zero. (marcrossmann/iStockphoto/Getty Images)
Leading up to the event, make sure all cellphones and other weather notification devices, like a NOAA weather radio, are fully charged and that your shelter is stocked with food, water, blankets, pillows, and any items to stay entertained. There's no telling how long you might be there.
The most important thing you can do to stay safe during nocturnal severe weather events is to prepare ahead of time, DePodwin said.
By identifying and properly preparing your safe location prior to when storms begin, you will be ready for what may impact your community and able to properly take action quickly.
“Nocturnal storm events often come as more of a surprise to people simply because they may not be as in touch with the environment around them as they are during the day, or they may be asleep," DePodwin said. "That’s why it’s so important to ensure you will be awakened up by weather warnings issued for your location and to know the appropriate action when a warning is issued.”
Stay aware through the night by turning on weather notifications, along with making sure your weather radio is fully charged or plugged in. The AccuWeather app, which is available for both Apple and Android phones, provides push notifications for all government weather alerts.
For the latest weather news, check back on AccuWeather.com. Watch the AccuWeather Network on DIRECTV, Frontier, Spectrum, fuboTV, Philo, and Verizon Fios. AccuWeather Now is now available on your preferred streaming platform.Report a Typo
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