Once a year, many states in the U.S. devote a week to severe weather awareness and preparedness for tornadoes. Have you practiced your plan for when actual severe weather strikes?
While this is just the start of the severe weather awareness week, we have already seen several tornado events, watches and warnings across the nation.
So what’s the difference between a watch and a warning when it comes to severe weather?
- A “watch” is predicted by the Storm Prediction Center usually for several hours across a broad area. A severe thunderstorm watch comprises conditions that are favorable for severe thunderstorm development. Businesses and families should keep an eye on the sky and stay informed for further weather updates and possible warnings. Nothing is happening as yet, but it could, so be prepared.
- A “warning” is a step up from a “watch” and indicates that a severe thunderstorm is not only detected by radar, but also by spotters on the ground. Warnings are generally issued when winds reach 58 mph or greater and/or up to one-inch size hail or larger is Flooding rains and lightning are not criteria. Remember, severe thunderstorms are unpredictable and can produce tornados with little or no warning, so it is highly recommended that you seek indoor shelter immediately.
Download this Tornado Checklist to help you weather the storm. Although tornadoes can occur during any time of the year, they are most common during the latter part of spring and into the summer months. Businesses should have a business continuity/disaster recovery plan in place in order to recover their operations and employees close to your existing business as well as immediately serve their customers in the event a severe storm impacts their business.