ARKANSAS (KNWA/KFTA) — Monday’s forecast calls for severe weather into the evening. While most people associate storms mostly with spring months, emergency crews urge caution, as severe storms can hit anywhere at any time.
“We’ve had tornados in the wintertime several times in the past that I can think about, and some of them were fairly severe,” said Farmington Fire Department Chief, William Hellard.
It’s always important to know what to do in case an emergency situation strikes. Travis Cooper with Sebastian County Emergency Management said you need to know the difference between a tornado watch and a tornado warning.
During watches, you should be carrying out your storm plan. During a tornado warning, you should already be at your safety destination.
If you hear about a severe weather event too late, Hellard said you should stay home and take cover, as opposed to seeking out a storm shelter.
“Unless you’re going to stay there for the evening, they’re not really a viable option for you to get there and get into the storm,” said Hellard.
Cooper encourages people to head into the most interior rooms of the home for shelter. You should also make sure to choose rooms to stay in that are void of any exterior windows.
If you live on the upper level of an apartment complex and can’t get to a lower level in time, you still need to head to an interior room of your apartment.
Regardless of where you live in Northwest Arkansas or the River Valley, you should always prepare for the worst. Cooper said you should keep a phone and charger nearby to keep up with weather alerts or keep a radio on while severe weather is anticipated.