Severe Weather Awareness Week Begins Monday

Now Is The Time To Prepare

After a quiet, mild winter, it’s time to prepare for our next season: severe weather. Whether it’s a severe thunderstorm, a flash flood or a tornado, it’s essential that you and your family not only  have a plan in case the worst happens but also make sure you know the terminology that meteorologists use so that you know how to prepare and take action effectively. Across South Dakota, next week is Severe Weather Awareness Week and KDLT wants to make sure you stay safe.

Knowing the difference between a watch, warning, advisory and outlook is key during a severe weather event. First, an OUTLOOK is normally issued several days in advance and outlines an area where conditions WILL be favorable for severe weather. It’s at this time that you, at home, should start to make a plan. An ADVISORY is issued when a weather hazard is OCCURRING, IMMINENT OR LIKELY whereas a WATCH is issued when CONDITIONS ARE FAVORABLE FOR SEVERE WEATHER such as a tornado or severe thunderstorm. It is when a WATCH or ADVISORY is issued that you SHOULD HAVE a plan already made. A WARNING is when severe weather has been spotted by a trained weather spotter or indicated by radar and poses a threat to property or life. A warning IS NOT the time to make a plan, you should be already seeking shelter or taking the appropriate safety measures.

One way to plan ahead for severe weather is to make a Severe Weather Safety Kit. Having at least a gallon of water per person per day is important to not only stay hydrated but for sanitation as well. Enough food to last three days, a battery powered radio, flash light with extra batteries, extra clothing, supplies for infants and a can opener for canned food are some items you can set aside in a kit in case. Having signal flares, matches, extra cash and rain gear are other things that are suggested as well. Not only are kits good for at home, but having a kit prepared for your car is also suggested. You can find out more information about kits and what to prepare here.

Another way to prepare is making sure you know where to look/get information during a severe weather event. A weather radio will continuously alert your household during the event, a good thing to have especially at night or if you are not near a television. Tuning into KDLT News during severe weather is another way to get the most up-to-date information; Brandon Spinner, Brian Kirk and Blaise Keller will cover the severe weather by cutting in, discussing the threats and who will experience them as well as updating social media accounts. If you have not already, be sure to like KDLT Weather on Facebook and/or follow KDLT Weather on Twitter to get updates on the off chance that you lose electricity.
In addition, the KDLT website will also have a section on the homepage,  and a banner at the top of the webpage alerting you to which counties are under a watch/warning and will take you to a link discussing the watch/warning times, threats and direction the storm is moving. The areas outlined in red are where to look during a severe weather event.

We want you to stay safe as we enter into severe weather season. Throughout the upcoming week, we’ll talk about ways to stay safe during severe weather. Make sure you stay tuned to KDLT News for all the latest updates as we go into severe weather season.