Red Cross offers severe weather tips - WNEM TV 5

Red Cross offers severe weather tips

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Another round of deadly tornadoes plowed through Alabama, Tennessee and Mississippi, killing at least a dozen people.

That's in addition to the deadly twisters that hit Arkansas, Oklahoma and Iowa on Sunday, killing 17 others.

Dozens of people are still being treated for their injuries and tens of thousands of homes are without power.

While our state has yet to see any tornadoes this season, the Red Cross is busy making sure Mid-Michigan residents are prepared before severe weather strikes.

More than 20 people were killed during the recent storms down South, a sad reminder of the damage that can be done in just a matter of minutes when severe weather hits.

Joe Beauchamp, disaster program director for the American Red Cross in Saginaw County, offered some tips on how to be prepared when severe weather hits.

  • Have flashlights.
  • Listen to local area radio or TV stations for the latest information and updates.
  • Be prepared to evacuate.
  • Move to an underground shelter, basement, safe room or a windowless room or hallway.
  • Mobile homes are not safe during tornadoes or other severe weather.

There are also free apps by the Red Cross that have information at your fingertips, something to use even if your power has gone out.

"You can see different emergency shelters that have been open and you can also check to see if other people have checked in as far as loved ones to know that they are safe and secured," Beauchamp said.

The app sends out both verbal and siren alerts to let you know if a tornado warning has been issued in your area.

Beauchamp said there are some myths about what you should and should not do when taking cover.

"One of the myths is to run into a ditch, that's not good because of debris that can hit a person. Another myth is opening windows and doors to try and equalize the pressure, that's not advisable," he said.

Beauchamp said the bottom line is be smart and act quickly when severe weather moves into your area.

"If there is a tornado and they hear a siren, seek shelter immediately," he said.

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