News, Announcements and Expert Commentary from Inova

Storm Safety Tips

(June 12, 2013) – Complexes of strong, drenching and locally severe thunderstorms are predicted in our area the next few days. The Northern Virginia region could be impacted by an intense thunderstorm complex, known as a derecho.High res NAM model simulates storms

The pattern of thunderstorm complexes has the potential to bring localized incidents of flash flooding, damaging wind gusts, hail and frequent lightning strikes starting this evening through Thursday.

If a tornado watch or warning  is issued in your area or you see approaching storms or any of the danger signs, be prepared to take shelter immediately. In case a tornado warning is issued, it means a tornado has been sighted and may be headed for your area and you should go to safety immediately:

  • If you are inside, go to your basement. If you don’t have a basement, move to a small, windowless interior room such as a closet, bathroom or interior hall on the lowest level of the house. Avoid windows and protect your body from flying debris with a heavy blanket or sleeping bag.
  • Do not spend time opening windows to equalize pressure; it is ineffective in reducing tornado damage. Get down and cover your head. Get under a sturdy piece of furniture or a mattress if available. Stay away from windows.
  • If you are outside, hurry to the basement of a nearby sturdy building or lie flat in a ditch or low-lying area and cover your head. Remember to go low and get low.
  • If you are in a car, do not try to outrun a tornado and seek a low lying area for your protection.

Definitions of tornado watch and tornado warning:

Tornado Watch
A Tornado Watch is issued to alert people to the possibility of a tornado developing in your area. At this point, a tornado has not been seen but the conditions are very favorable for tornados to occur at any moment.

Tornado Warning
A Tornado Warning is issued when a tornado has actually been sighted or has been picked up on radar in your area. This means that you need to take shelter immediately in a safe sturdy structure.

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