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Preparing for severe weather: Make sure you have a plan, emergency kit ready

tornado sirens
Posted at 6:25 AM, Mar 17, 2021
and last updated 2021-04-23 09:11:26-04

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (WTVF) — The threat of strong, spring storms is very real across Tennessee and having a plan in place in case severe weather strikes is important.

There are a lot of things you can do to get ready now, but you should also know your community’s warning system. A lot of cities use a siren to warn people of a tornado heading your way.

Also, make sure you have your phone set up to receive weather alerts.

Since we are expecting severe weather today, the American Red Cross wants you to be prepared. People should go ahead and find a safe place in your home, like a basement, storm cellar or interior room on the lowest floor with no windows.

Also know the warning signs: a Tornado Watch means a tornado is possible. A Tornado Warning means a tornado has been sighted, is on the ground or is indicated by weather radar.

You can also look for tornado danger signs in the sky, like dark, often greenish clouds.

Local agencies like Mt. Juliet are preparing their communities for the potential of storms, especially after the destruction they saw on March 3, 2020.

"During a disaster, it doesn't matter what kind of disaster, tornado, thunderstorm, flood, earthquake, whatever, a lot of people don't realize that local phone systems tend to get overloaded really quick. So, an emergency family communications plan is a great idea. Think of people who you can call out of town, or text out of town, because out of town communications tend to work a little easier,” said Rich Frankich with the Mt. Juliet Police Department.

Something else to keep in mind since severe weather is moving in is to secure all your items outside and bring your animals indoor. You also want to have an emergency kit handy, filled with a flashlight, extra batteries, radio, copies of important documents and cash.

Storm 5 Alert: Damaging winds, flooding and tornadoes possible Wednesday through early Thursday