ST. LOUIS — Both Missouri and Illinois are working together to help bring weather preparedness to the general public for Severe Weather Awareness Week from Sunday, March 4, to Saturday, March 10. 5 On Your Side's Chester Lampkin has compiled a list of detailed tips and suggestions to bring better understanding of the risks associated with rough weather this time of year.

Day 1: Preparedness

  • Identify potential hazards in your area.
  • Set up a severe weather safety plan.
  • Select a person in charge.
    • How will you receive warnings? Radio? TV? Internet? All of the above?
    • What warnings will trigger your severe safety plan?
    • Learn or establish shelter areas at home and work. Establish an evacuation plan if you’re in a flood-prone area
  • Practice your safety plan!
  • Other: Have an emergency kit, generator, and know all your safe exits from home and work. Choose a disaster meeting place, know your kid’s school contacts in case of disaster, learn first aid or CPR, and have extra batteries and flashlights, have extra food.

Day 2: Tornadoes

  • Tornado Watch: Conditions for tornadoes are possible
  • Tornado Warning: There is a tornado on the ground or a tornado is indicated on radar, take action now.
  • Where to go?
    • Basement
    • Interior small room or hallway
    • Stay away from windows, doors and outside walls
    • In public places, go to storm shelter areas, avoid large rooms, such as school gyms
    • No matter where you shelter, COVER YOUR HEAD!
    • Cars and mobile homes are never safe; go seek sturdy structures. As a last resort, find a ditch and cover your head. Do not try to outrun a storm/tornado

Day 3: Flash Floods

  • Most years, flood deaths outnumber tornado deaths, with the exception of the 2011 Joplin, Mo. tornado
  • 6-inches of water takes down a human and 2-feet of water can make a car float. Cars get swept away very quickly in flash flood situations causing people to become trapped in their cars
  • Low water crosses can become death traps
  • Be extra cautious of standing water and flooded areas at night
  • Live in a flood prone area? Have an action plan!
  • Camping near small rivers are especially popular in the Midwest, so be aware of weather conditions upstream too! Upstream rain can lead to rising waters with little to no warning in your location.

Day 4: Severe Thunderstorms

  • Floods, lightning, tornadoes, hail, damaging winds; we get them all!
  • Lightning kills 73 in the USA per year
  • No safe place outside during electrical storms
  • Stay out of water, both indoors and outdoors. Get out of boats, off of beaches, and into a sturdy shelter
  • Don't use metal objects of any kind
  • Don't use electrical appliances during storms; stay away from windows and don't use telephones.
  • Use tornado safety rules for Severe Thunderstorm Warnings.

Day 5: Communication and Weather Radio

  • How to receive severe weather warnings:
    • Television and local media
    • Internet
  • Smartphone alerts and apps.
  • NWS Weather Radio is especially good for camping and for when the power goes out; good to have a weather radio set-up for emergencies
  • There are eight Weather Radio stations in our DMA, see link below for the radio signal frequencies

For more information on weather safety, click here.