What’s your severe weather IQ?

By | 2018-05-31T20:53:24+00:00 May 31st, 2018|Storm Damage|0 Comments

Around the Quad Cities, severe weather is a fact of life – especially during the spring and summer months. From heavy winds and tornadoes to strong rains and thunderstorms, these weather disasters can wreck havoc on your family and home. And this severe weather can leave a mess in their wake. While tragedies are often featured in the local news, many families don’t think about preparation and safety until it’s too late.

Related: Staying safe during severe weather

Here are a few things you may want to know about the top types of severe weather we experience in the Quad Cities – including terms to know and steps to take when severe weather is on the horizon.

Thunderstorms and lightning

Warm, humid temperatures can be an initial indicator of approaching thunderstorms in the Quad Cities. Producing brief, heavy rain and lightning, thunderstorms can also lead to flash flooding, hail and tornadoes. Any thunderstorm is dangerous because it always produces lightning, which is highly unpredictable and one of the top three storm-related killers in America. Thunderstorms can also lead to flash flooding, which is responsible for more than 150 fatalities every year. Understand the risk:

  • A severe thunderstorm watch means that a thunderstorm is likely to occur. This is a good time to get prepared, come indoors, and wait for more information.
  • A severe thunderstorm warning means that a thunderstorm as been spotted or found via radar.

Be prepared:

  • Build an emergency kit.
  • Create a family disaster plan.
  • Secure outdoor objects that could cause damage or blow away.
  • Stay indoors and cancel outdoor activities.
  • Secure doors and windows in your home.
  • Unplug electronic equipment before the storm arrives.

Related: Quick facts about thunderstorms in the Quad Cities.

Tornadoes

A tornado is a rotating air column that extends from clouds to the ground during a thunderstorm. Wind from twisters can reach more than 300 miles per hour, with damage paths more than 50 miles long. Tornadoes cause a great deal of damage to everything in their path. They are unpredictable and can strike quickly, with little or no warning. About 1,200 tornadoes hit the United States every year – including some in Illinois and Iowa. They can happen anytime, but are most prevalent in the spring and summer. Understand the risk:

    • A tornado watch means that tornadoes are possible. This is a good time to move near shelter, remain alert and wait for more information.
    • A tornado warning means that a tornado has been sighted or found via radar. Take shelter immediately.

Be prepared:

    • Build an emergency kit.
    • Create a family disaster plan.
    • Identify safe rooms in your home, business and school that can be accessed quickly when there is a tornado warning.
    • Be alert and watch for changing weather conditions and danger signs (large hail, dark, low-lying clouds, rotating clouds, dark and greenish skies).

Related: After the twister

The bottom line

Storms may be a fact of life in the Midwest, but being knowledgeable and prepared can help you and your family stay safe. If you are impacted by severe weather, Werner specializes in securing homes and helping pick up the pieces after disasters. Learn more about our work with storm damage.

About the Author: