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Time to Prep for Severe Weather

Tornado sirens blared across the entire state Tuesday as officials prepared for severe weather season. Now emergency experts are using severe weather awareness week to spread the word about people being prepared.ABC 17 News crews met with an emergency expert to find out how to stay safe in unsafe conditions and they said all starts with being ready before the storms hit. The bottom line is be aware and knowing where to go in any house or building. Cooper County EMA Director Tom White said first asses your home. “With a basement, without a basement, if they are in an apartment complex if they are a high rise building, whatever type of complex they need to find a safe place to go.”The next step is how your home is structured. “When you look at weak areas, obviously your outside walls, your windows, your doors,” said White.The best way to avoid flying debris is head to a basement. “Wall is up against the earth and then these walls right here are supporting walls.”Underneath a stairwell in a side closet also gives more protection because of the added strength to the stairs. But, what if you don’t have a basement or stairs… where do you go? “Try to stay away from all the windows that you can, it may come down to where you have an interior closet and if that’s all you have that’s all you have,” said White. Once you find a spot, it’s important to stock it with an emergency kit and food. “Three to four days of emergency supplies, water food, emergency kits clothing,” said White.Also keep battery powered flashlights in case the power goes out plus have phones or battery powered radios on hand so you can get those weather updates.The American Red Cross is now offering a new tornado app for smart phones as another option to stay safe. The free app gives instant access to local and real time information. It also includes a high pitched siren and tornado warning alert when one is issued in your area.People can also sign up for text alerts from ABC 17 news to get weather warnings.Finally always remember being prepared now is worth it when it comes to safety. “Everybody says the same thing afterwards; I didn’t think it was going to happen to me,” said White.

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