An unsettled weather pattern has the Heartland facing a moderate risk of severe storms on Tuesday. Hail, high winds, heavy rain, flash flooding and possibly tornadoes are the main threats.
The tornadoes may happen overnight, so make sure you have a way to receive warning information near your bed before going to sleep. Make sure you have a weather radio and designate your safe space before you go to sleep. The area should be a basement, storm cellar or an interior room on the lowest floor away from windows.
As with any disaster, preparation can be the difference between life or death. The Red Cross recommends that individuals and families prepare for tornadoes by:
? Creating and practicing a Home Tornado Plan: Pick a ??safe room?? or uncluttered area without windows where family members and pets could seek shelter on the lowest floor possible: a basement, a center hallway, a bathroom or a closet. Putting as many walls between you and the outside provides additional protection.
? Assembling an Emergency Preparedness Kit: Kits should contain a first aid kit and essential medications, foods that don??t require cooking or refrigeration and manual can opener, bottled water, flashlights and a battery-powered radio with extra batteries and other emergency items for the whole family.
? Heeding Storm Warnings: Listen to your local radio and TV stations for updated storm information. A tornado WATCH means a tornado is possible in your area. When a tornado WARNING is issued, go to the safe room you picked to protect yourself from glass and other flying objects. If you are outside, hurry to the basement of a nearby sturdy building. . If you are in a car or mobile home, get out immediately and head to the nearest building for safety. If you are outside and there are no buildings, lie flat in a low lying area or ditch and cover your head with your arms and hands.
? Preparing for High Winds: Make trees more wind resistant by removing diseased and damaged limbs, then strategically removing branches so that wind can blow through. Install permanent shutters on your windows and add protection to the outside areas of sliding glass doors. Strengthen garage doors and unreinforced masonry. Move or secure lawn furniture, outdoor decorations or ornaments, trash cans, hanging plants and anything else that can be picked up by wind and become a projectile.