tornado

Click play below to listen to KMZU’s Ashley Johnson visit with National Weather Service Meteorologist, Chris Gitro:

Chris Gitro

Spring is just around the corner and with spring comes the possibility of severe weather and tornado’s. “By April to May time frame, we’ll start to get into our main severe weather season,” said Gitro, “One thing that we always try to remain cognizant of is the fact that severe weather does have a potential impacts across the area from the structurally safety as well as the injury point of view. We encourage everybody to maintain awareness on what the latest forecast is for their particular area and whether or not they could be expecting severe whether any given day.”

The best way to be ready for a storm or tornado is to be aware and prepared. “We always encourage people to maintain their situational awareness on what’s going at that given time,” Gitro explained, “In addition, for people that may have to take shelter due to a tornado warning over their area, we encourage them to obviously go ahead and have a disaster preparedness kit in the area that they would be seeking shelter within their house and have it stocked with water, flash lights, batteries, etc.”

Sometimes remaining diligent about your current weather conditions isn’t enough; sometimes you need a get out plan. “For those individuals that might not have a real sturdy shelter available to them, as soon as they hear a warning drop for their particular area, we encourage them to try to seek shelter in an area that does provide strong structural support,” advised Gitro, “Whether it be going to a local grocery store and trying to get into the freezer or if you are caught out on the road, try to abandon your vehicle and seek shelter in a sturdy building.”

While most advice for what to do in case of a tornado has remained the same, one of the older golden rules about what to do in case of a tornado while out driving has been changed. “It used to be in the old days we would encourage people to get out of their car and try to get in a ditch,” Gitro explained, “If you have the opportunity to get away from the tornado threat, we encourage people to do that these days.”

To learn more about storm and disaster preparedness, visit stormaware.mo.gov. Also, visit the National Weather Service website.