MISSOURI (KFVS) - Tornadoes can strike in any season, but most occur often in the spring and summer months.
That is why the Federal Emergency Management Agency is urging people who live east of the Rocky Mountains to get prepared now.
According to FEMA, when a tornado or flash flood hits, every second matters. This means the key is protecting yourself quickly.
You can start with staying informed.
It is easy with KFVS. We have the First Alert Weather App you can download straight to your phone. The app allows you to track the storm as it moves in and stay up to date on any warnings or watches.
You might also want to keep an extra phone battery and weather radio at easy access, as well. These are necessary precautions in case the power goes out.
The next step is to know where you will go.
FEMA says for the average homeowner, the best place is a small, interior, windowless room on the lowest level of the building.
Wherever you go, make sure it is sturdy. FEMA reports most injuries and fatalities from tornadoes are caused by falling or wind-borne debris.
Lastly, be familiar with the difference between a watch and a warning.
For a flash flood:
- A flash flood watch: Flash flooding is possible. Be prepared to move to higher ground; monitor NOAA Weather Radio, commercial radio, or television for information.
- A flash flood warning: A flash flood is occurring; seek higher ground on foot immediately.
For a severe thunderstorm:
- A severe thunderstorm watch means that a severe thunderstorm with large hail and/or damaging winds is possible in your area.
- A severe thunderstorm warning means that a severe thunderstorm with large hail and/or damaging winds is occurring or imminent, move indoors immediately.
For a tornado:
- A tornado watch means a tornado is possible in your area.
- A tornado warning means a tornado is either occurring or imminent, take shelter immediately.