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Being prepared can save time and lives during severe weather

ROCKFORD (WREX) — Severe weather can strike at any time and having a plan in place for your family makes all the difference when minutes matter most.

Being storm ready is a crucial part of staying safe during severe weather.

A lot goes into creating and executing a severe weather plan, but its implementation makes all the difference. Let's go through a basic checklist of what to do so you and your family can stay safe:

  1. BE WEATHER AWARE: Severe weather is usually something that can be forecasted several days out. Pay close attention to the forecast in the days leading up to a severe potential. On the day of the severe threat, keep a close eye on-air and online for the latest updates from your 13 Weather Authority.
  2. HAVE ALERTS ENABLED: Ensure you have ways to receive alerts from multiple sources. Download the WREX Weather app for free on your smartphone or tablet. Ensure Emergency Alert System notifications are switched on for your area as well. DO NOT RELY ON OUTDOOR SIRENS! These are designed to be heard outside and do not guarantee you'll hear them indoors.
  3. CREATE A COMMUNICATION PLAN: In the event of an emergency, your family should have a plan to reach one another. Having a communication plan takes the guesswork out of what steps you should take to ensure everyone in your family is staying safe. This communication plan should include knowing where to go in the event of a tornado warning or severe thunderstorm warning.
  4. PRACTICE THE PLAN: You and your family should practice the severe weather plan several times through the year. Severe weather is possible during any and all seasons in the Stateline, so practicing the plan once per season is a good rule of thumb. Don't forget to include pets if time permits.
  5. PREPARE YOUR HOME: Keep trees and branches trimmed from around your house. If time allows, ensure loose objects and outdoor furniture is secured before severe weather strikes.
  6. HELP YOUR NEIGHBORS: Reach out to your neighbors and see if they have a severe weather plan. If they don't, encourage them to create one. If your neighbors aren't physically able to prepare their home, ask if they want assistance in getting their home storm ready.
A list of best and worst places to seek shelter during a tornado.

Justin Ballard

Justin Ballard joined 13 WREX as the weekday morning meteorologist. He’s a proud graduate of UNC-Charlotte and happy to call Rockford home.

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