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Greene County OEM Offers Tips for What to do During a Tornado Warning

NOAA National Severe Storms Laboratory

With recent deadly tornadoes in Alabama and severe weather season approaching, now is a good time to review disaster preparedness tips.

Branden Surgnier, spokesman for the Greene County Office of Emergency Management, said you first need to have a plan in place to follow if a tornado warning is issued for your area.  And everyone in the family needs to be familiar with it.

You also need a notification system in place such as emergency alerts on a phone or a weather radio.

A basement or storm shelter is the best place to go during a tornado warning.  But if you don’t have one, Surgnier said there are still things you can do to try to stay safe.

"Go into a small interior room, maybe that's a closet, maybe that's a bathroom or interior hallway somewhere at the lowest level of your home or facility that you're located," said Surgnier.  "Try to avoid any windows or doors.  Put as many walls as possible between you and the outside.  Keeping these in mind...will help to save your life."

Those who live in mobile homes should move to the closest substantial shelter. 

Anyone who is out on the road during a tornado warning should seek shelter in a sturdy structure immediately.  If none is available, you should get out of your vehicle and lie flat in a ditch with your hands shielding your head. 

There are more disaster preparedness tips at

Michele Skalicky has worked at KSMU since the station occupied the old white house at National and Grand. She enjoys working on both the announcing side and in news and has been the recipient of statewide and national awards for news reporting. She likes to tell stories that make a difference. Michele enjoys outdoor activities, including hiking, camping and leisurely kayaking.