Preparing For Severe Storms

Lynchburg, VA - When the weather forecast has the potential for a tornado watch, or a severe thunderstorm warning, you've got to be prepared. The crippling storms, that barreled east Tuesday left a line of destruction in their wake. "With any emergency, you need to be prepared" said Gary Roakes. Roakes is Amherst County's Director of Public Safety. He said the number one way to stay safe during severe storms is to be prepared. Have batteries, food, and water in stock in case you're stuck at home, "Just the key essentials to keep you going" he said. Roakes said with strong, damaging winds, take a look outside; big branches and lawn furniture can all pose a threat. "Bring them inside or make sure they're secure. Those are all flying objects. Even without a tornado, with high winds and things, they can do an extensive amount of damage to your house, to breaking windows to cars, to those types of things as well" he said. If a tornado tracks our way, Roakes said getting in a basement or beneath a stairwell, is your best bet. But, not every home is the safest spot to stay. "If you reside in a trailer or something like that, a lot of times the best thing is to evacuate and go somewhere else that is more secure" said Roakes. Finally, with all those watches and warnings, make sure you know the difference. A watch means there's a chance this weather could happen. It usually covers a large area and lasts a long time. With a warning, watch out, that weather is already happening, and you've got to take the proper precautions.