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What you need to know if caught in severe weather away from home

Published: Friday, February 24, 2017 @ 2:05 PM
By: Breaking News Staff

A series of showers and storms that could become severe are expected hit the Miami Valley region tonight, and News Center 7 meteorologists are advising people to stay weather aware. 

The biggest threat will be damaging winds and hail. The possibility of a tornado cannot be ruled out, said News Center 7 Meteorologist Carrieann Marit .

Marit warns people should not get so distracted by their surroundings that they lose sight of the weather scenario.

RELATED: Photos and video from today’s storms

“It’s always important to know what the plan is for storm safety wherever you are,” Marit said. “Many people know where their safe place is at home, but its easily overlooked while out in a public facilities.”

 Marit noted the tornado that hit the Greene in Beavercreek a few years ago is a prime example of how important it is to be prepared.

RELATED: Get the latest weather updates and alerts by downloading our free local weather apps.

The National Weather Service suggests that if you’re out, to stay way from windows if damaging winds or large hail are approaching. Also, do not go to large open rooms such as cafeterias, gymnasiums or auditoriums. 

If you’re outside, NWS suggests to go inside a sturdy building if severe thunderstorms are approaching. The agency notes sheds and storage facilities are not safe, and taking shelter under a tree can be deadly. The tree could fall on you. Standing under a tree can increase your risk of getting struck by lightning. 

If you’re in a vehicle, you’re safer than being outside, according to NWS. However, the agency suggests you drive to the closest secure shelter if you have enough time.

No place outside is safe when thunderstorms are in the area, according to the NWS website. If you can hear thunder, lightning is close enough to strike you. 

When you hear thunder, you should immediately move to safe shelter such as a large building with electricity or plumbing or an enclosed, metal-topped vehicle with windows up. 

Stay in safe shelter at least 30 minutes after you hear the last sound of thunder.

If you’re indoors, avoid lying on concrete floors, and do not lean against concrete walls.

Get the latest weather updates and alerts by downloading our free local weather apps.