Getting prepared for severe weather - KSFY News - Sioux Falls, SD News, Weather, Sports

Getting prepared for severe weather

Posted: Updated:

It's Severe Weather Awareness Week and a statewide tornado drill is slated for 10:00 Wednesday morning. Tornado sirens will be sounded during the drill and the emergency alert system will activate.

The National Weather Service says tornadoes cause an average of 60-65 fatalities and 1,500 injuries each year. They say they can produce wind speeds in excess of 200 mph and can be 1 mile wide and stay on the ground over 50 miles.

The National Weather Service says being prepared is key. They say you need to have a plan in place that you and your family has practiced. You need to know where to take shelter in a matter of seconds. You'll also want a pre-determined place to meet after a disaster. Flying debris is the greatest danger in tornadoes; so store protective coverings like a mattress, sleeping bags and thick blankets, in or next to your shelter space, ready to use on a few seconds' notice. Also when severe weather is possible you'll want to turn on local TV, radio or NOAA Weather Radio and stay alert for warnings.

When the storm has passed stay away from power lines and puddles with wires in them; they may still be carrying electricity. Also watch your step to avoid broken glass, nails, and other sharp objects. Stay out of any heavily damaged houses or buildings; they could collapse at any time. Do not use matches or lighters, in case of leaking natural gas pipes or fuel tanks nearby.

Experts say tornadoes can form quickly and without a lot of warning. They say there is no substitute for staying alert to the sky. Besides an obviously visible tornado, here are some things to look and listen for.

The National Weather Service says watch for:

Strong, persistent rotation in the cloud base.

Whirling dust or debris on the ground under a cloud base -- tornadoes sometimes have no funnel.

Hail or heavy rain followed by either dead calm or a fast, intense wind shift. Many tornadoes are wrapped in heavy precipitation and can't be seen.

Day or night - Loud, continuous roar or rumble, which doesn't fade in a few seconds like thunder.

Night - Small, bright, blue-green to white flashes at ground level near a thunderstorm (as opposed to silvery lightning up in the clouds). These mean power lines are being snapped by very strong wind, maybe a tornado.

Night - Persistent lowering from the cloud base, illuminated or silhouetted by lightning -- especially if it is on the ground or there is a blue-green-white power flash underneath.

Since severe weather can happen at any time, the National Weather Service says you should be familiar about what to do if you need to take cover in different places.

Whether you're home, in your car, our outside when a storm hits you should know what to do. The National Weather Service says the safest place to be is an underground shelter or basement, far away from windows. If you are in your basement be aware of where heavy appliances are above you because they could fall.

If you can't get to a basement then pick a windowless interior room or hallway on the lowest level of a sturdy building. Try to cover yourself with a mattress or thick blankets.

When it comes to mobile homes, experts say they are not safe in tornadoes. They say you are safer to get out and try to get to a sturdy shelter.

If you're caught outside try to get to a building. If you're in your car buckle your seat belt and try to drive to the closest sturdy shelter. However, experts say if you're driving and debris starts flying pull over and park. You can then either stay in your car, put your head down and try to cover yourself with something, or if you can get lower than the road get out of your car, and lie in that area covering your head.

For more information click the link on the left side of your screen.

  • Home for Austin one step closer to completion

    Home for Austin one step closer to completion

    Thursday, July 24 2014 11:31 PM EDT2014-07-25 03:31:44 GMT
    Austin Coffee’s arms and legs were amputated when he was just three years old to save him from a rare form of Meningitis. Thursday, the now seven-year-old is getting ready to move into a new house built especially for him.More >>
    Austin Coffee’s arms and legs were amputated when he was just three years old to save him from a rare form of Meningitis. Thursday, the now seven-year-old is getting ready to move into a new house built especially for him.More >>
  • Watering restrictions in effect for Brandon

    Watering restrictions in effect for Brandon

    Thursday, July 24 2014 11:28 PM EDT2014-07-25 03:28:27 GMT
    Starting Thursday, neighbors in Brandon will be under a water restriction. Those with even-number addresses can water on even-number days and those with odd-number addresses can water on odd-number days.  Watering is prohibited between 10 a.m. and 6 p.m. Starting Thursday, neighbors in Brandon will be under a water restriction. Those with even-number addresses can water on even-number days and those with odd-number addresses can water on odd-number days. Watering is prohibited between 10 a.m. and 6 p.m.
    Starting Thursday, neighbors in Brandon will be under a water restriction. Those with even-number addresses can water on even-number days and those with odd-number addresses can water on odd-number days.  Watering is prohibited between 10 a.m. and 6 p.m. for everyone. More >>
    Starting Thursday, neighbors in Brandon will be under a water restriction. Those with even-number addresses can water on even-number days and those with odd-number addresses can water on odd-number days.  Watering is prohibited between 10 a.m. and 6 p.m. for everyone. More >>
  • Avera Medical Minute AMcK: Raising the standard of cancer care

    Avera Medical Minute AMcK: Raising the standard of cancer care

    Thursday, July 24 2014 11:14 PM EDT2014-07-25 03:14:28 GMT
    It's a fair bet that cancer has touched your life. Whether it's you personally or through a friend or a loved one. While the diagnosis can be crushing, it's not a defeat. With each day, medicines and tools are getting better.More >>
    It's a fair bet that cancer has touched your life. Whether it's you personally or through a friend or a loved one. While the diagnosis can be crushing, it's not a defeat. With each day, medicines and tools are getting better.
    More >>
  • Prosecutor: Doctor fires back at hospital gunman who killed one

    Prosecutor: Doctor fires back at hospital gunman who killed one

    Thursday, July 24 2014 9:40 PM EDT2014-07-25 01:40:00 GMT
    A psychiatrist who was grazed by gunfire from a patient at a hospital on Thursday helped stop the patient by apparently using his own weapon to shoot and wound him, but not before a caseworker was killed, authorities said.More >>
    A psychiatrist who was grazed by gunfire from a patient at a hospital on Thursday helped stop the patient by apparently using his own weapon to shoot and wound him, but not before a caseworker was killed, authorities said.More >>
  • Officials: ISIS blows up Jonah's tomb in Iraq

    Officials: ISIS blows up Jonah's tomb in Iraq

    Thursday, July 24 2014 9:38 PM EDT2014-07-25 01:38:55 GMT
    If you blink during the video, you might miss the moment Jonah's tomb in Mosul, Iraq, explodes. The first few frames show the revered shrine towering over its landscape. There's a sudden burst of dust, fire and smoke. Then, nothing.More >>
    If you blink during the video, you might miss the moment Jonah's tomb in Mosul, Iraq, explodes. The first few frames show the revered shrine towering over its landscape. There's a sudden burst of dust, fire and smoke. Then, nothing.
    More >>
  • Prep work begins for fence installation at Van Eps Park

    Prep work begins for fence installation at Van Eps Park

    Thursday, July 24 2014 7:25 PM EDT2014-07-24 23:25:53 GMT
    Van Eps park has seen a lot of activity the past few weeks. Many have complained about people hanging out and drinking in the park. Thursday, the park was busy with construction equipment.More >>
    Van Eps park has seen a lot of activity the past few weeks. Many have complained about people hanging out and drinking in the park. Thursday, the park was busy with construction equipment.More >>
  • Joseph Patterson pleads not guilty while arraigned for alleged attack on ex-girlfriend

    Joseph Patterson pleads not guilty while arraigned for alleged attack on ex-girlfriend

    Thursday, July 24 2014 3:16 PM EDT2014-07-24 19:16:55 GMT
    Joseph Patterson has been arraigned on his indictment for charges stemming from his alleged assault and attack on his former girlfriend.More >>
    Joseph Patterson has been arraigned on his indictment for charges stemming from his alleged assault and attack on his former girlfriend.More >>
  • RAGBRAI rider from Sioux City dies in Mason City

    RAGBRAI rider from Sioux City dies in Mason City

    Thursday, July 24 2014 1:48 PM EDT2014-07-24 17:48:39 GMT
    A RAGBRAI participant from Sioux City has been found dead in his tent in Mason City in the second death during the weeklong bicycling event.More >>
    A RAGBRAI participant from Sioux City has been found dead in his tent in Mason City in the second death during the weeklong bicycling event.More >>
Powered by WorldNow
All content © Copyright 2000 - 2014 WorldNow and KSFY. All Rights Reserved.
For more information on this site, please read our Privacy Policy and Terms of Service or our EEO Report.