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5 ways to stay safe when tornadoes threaten central Virginia

These tips will keep you and your family safe the next time we have a risk for tornadoes
Published: Mar. 7, 2022 at 4:24 PM EST|Updated: Mar. 7, 2022 at 7:19 PM EST
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RICHMOND, Va. (WWBT) - From the devastating Petersburg tornado in 1993 to the tornadoes caused by the remnants of Hurricane Florence in 2018, central Virginia is no stranger to tornadic storms.

The best way to stay safe during severe weather is to prepare now when the weather is quiet.

1. Stay weather aware. That means checking the NBC12 First Alert forecast often to see if severe weather is possible.

2. Know the difference between a Tornado Watch and a Tornado Warning. A Tornado Watch means conditions are favorable for tornadoes to form in the next several hours. A Tornado Warning means a tornado was spotted or is likely to develop within minutes, and it’s time to take shelter.

A Tornado Watch is issued when atmospheric conditions are favorable for tornadoes to form in...
A Tornado Watch is issued when atmospheric conditions are favorable for tornadoes to form in the next several hours. Stay weather aware and have multiple ways to get a warning.(WWBT)
A Tornado Warning is more serious than a watch. It means a tornado has been spotted on radar or...
A Tornado Warning is more serious than a watch. It means a tornado has been spotted on radar or by a spotter and you need to take shelter immediately.(WWBT)

3. Have multiple ways to get a warning. You can download the NBC12 First Alert Weather app to get alerts straight to your phone and use an NOAA weather radio.

4. Have a safe place to go if a warning is issued. Your best option is a basement. If you don’t have a basement, or maybe you’re at work, your next safest choice is in an interior room. The idea is to put as many walls between yourself and the outside as possible. A closet may be your best option. It’s a good idea to keep a helmet in your safe place to protect your head.

The best place to seek shelter during a tornado warning is in a basement. If you don't have...
The best place to seek shelter during a tornado warning is in a basement. If you don't have one, the interior most room on the lowest floor is the next best option.(WWBT)

5. If you’re in a car, try to drive to a sturdy building and go inside for shelter if you can do so safely. If you don’t have time to get to a building, your next best option is to pull off the road and stay in your car, duck down below the windows, and cover your head. Never shelter under an overpass; it provides no protection because winds can get stronger underneath one.

If you follow these tips, you’ll put yourself in the best position to survive mother nature’s worst.

Ge the NBC12 First Alert Weather App, here.

Copyright 2022 WWBT. All rights reserved.

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