Ted: Prepare to face Mother Nature's worst - KTTC Rochester, Austin, Mason City News, Weather and Sports

Ted: Prepare to face Mother Nature's worst

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ROCHESTER, Minn. (KTTC) -- When you hear the tornado sirens going off in your neighborhood you know dangerous weather is just ahead and it's time to take action. But ahead of time there are three key things to think about as you prepare to face Mother Nature's worst.

Be sure to have a safety plan that everyone knows and has practiced ahead of time; act quickly and decisively when a Tornado Warning is issued; and then seek shelter in a sturdy location.

The planning part should be going on right now. Come up with a plan with your family at home or with coworkers at work ahead of time, before severe weather is even threatening.

Choose a location in the lowest level of the building that is free of windows and doesn't have high ceilings. Also, make sure to keep the potential for debris at a minimum, so a small room like a bathroom would be ideal.

Keep a flashlight and weather radio handy in case the power is disrupted and so you can monitor the weather situation.

When a Tornado or Severe Thunderstorm Warning is issued for your area, that means dangerous weather has been reported or is being detected on radar and is moving into your area and it's time to seek shelter immediately! You have only minutes to act, so get everyone together and act out your severe weather plan.

When you reach your severe weather shelter, cover your head with a towel or blanket to protect yourself from debris. Be sure you're able to put as many walls between yourself and the storm as possible

What if you're in school when severe weather strikes?

Head for the hallways or a small interior room and bring something sturdy to cover your head like a book or even a jacket…anything to shield your head from falling debris. Be sure to avoid large, open spaces like a gymnasium and get away from windows.

Thursday Statewide Tornado Drill

1:00 p.m. - Test Tornado Watch (will be tone alerted via NOAA weather radio using live EAS codes [TOA])

1:45 p.m. - Test Tornado Warning (will be tone alerted via NOAA weather radio using live EAS codes [TOR])

2:00 p.m. - Test ends.

6:55 p.m. - Test Tornado Warning for Minnesota Counties only.

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