So your local weather authority has issued a tornado watch? Often you wonder what to do when that watch notice goes out. When my husband was in the Army we were stationed in Kansas. Right, Smack dab in tornado Ali. I learned really quick our first spring all about preparing for the worst. I distinctly remember one year we had storms so bad coming that we where given 3 days notice. Everyone thought I was crazy for preparing the community shelter until it was needed. This years storm season looks to be as rough as the winter was and you don’t want to be caught off guard.
Know the difference Tornado Watch vs Warning.
A tornado watch and a tornado warning are distinctively different. A watch means that conditions are favorable for storms that can produce tornadoes. A warning means that severe weather is imminent contrary to popular belief rain and lightning are not enough to trigger a warning.
A watch has been issued what should I do?
When a tornado watch is issued you should prepare for the event of a warning being issued. Charge electronic devices, pack a bag with snacks, water, and spare clothes. sweep out your tornado shelter. A watch is a good time to go over your plan to get to shelter. Sometimes when the really bad weather is expected watches are issued a few days in advance. In this case, it is a good idea to check the stock of your emergency kit, bring outdoor items inside so they do not blow away.
What to do with kids during a tornado watch.
I suggest changing kids into comfy PJs that provide long sleeves and paints that cover legs for use during tornado watches. Make sure they are comfortable and use this as an opportunity to teach about the weather. Involve your children in tracking the storms. If all else fails here are some frugal ways to keep kids busy indoors during bad weather.
Set up weather alerts
You can set up weather alerts to your phone via email, text, or apps from many local news stations or Weather.com. I find that the weather channels texts arrive with a good bit of warning before the local sirens even get a chance to go off.
Check in with loved ones
While ideally traveling should be avoided during severe storms it is still a great idea to call and check in with family and friends. This is particularly important for any vulnerable family members that may need help should the watch turn into a warning.
Before the tornado watch
Before the tornado watch take the time to prepare for the worst. Put together your emergency kit and if you have a baby create an emergency kit for babies in your home because they have different needs than older children and adults. If you haven’t prepared a kit now before the rush for supplies comes around is the perfect time to work on your kit.