SPRINGFIELD, Mo. – It is Severe Weather Awareness Week here in Missouri. Each day will focus on a different topic to help you prepare for the upcoming season.

Day 4’s topic is severe thunderstorm safety. Do you know what to do or how to prepare?

What is a severe thunderstorm?

  • A severe thunderstorm is defined as a storm capable of producing hail that is an inch or larger with wind gusts over 58 mph.
  • What should you when a watch or warning is issued?
    • When a watch is issued, be prepared. When a warning is issued, take action.

Let’s talk about risk levels.

  • The Storm Prediction Center will issue levels of storm threats for the day. The higher the level, the healthier environment for severe storms.

Severe Thunderstorm Safety

  • During a severe thunderstorm, have a way to receive a warning if it gets upgraded to a tornado warning.
  • If you are outside, go inside immediately. Taking shelter under a tree is not safe.
  • If you are in a vehicle, pull over and find shelter.

Severe Thunderstorm Hazards

  • Hail can be as small as a pea but as large as a grapefruit. Hail can cause severe damage to structures, vehicles and people can get seriously hurt. That is why it is so important to go inside.
  • Damaging wind gusts can also occur and cause severe damage. Gusts can also send debris flying causing damage to structures and possibly causing people to be hurt. Severe thunderstorms can be just as dangerous as tornadoes, so go inside when one is issued.

Follow these tips and guidelines to help you stay safe and stay ahead of the storm.

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