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February 26, 2015

As your Weather Ready Nation™ Ambassador, Midland is here to help communities and businesses be prepared when disaster strikes. Here are a few key things to remember as we approach severe weather season.

During a storm, listen to local news and monitor your alerts to stay informed about tornado watches and warnings.

If NWS issues a tornado watch:

  • Tune in to a NOAA Weather Radio All Hazards, local radio, and television weather reports. Check alert notifications.

  • Review where you will go for protection and discuss with those around you. Change your plans, if necessary, to make sure you will be able to get to a protective location quickly.

  • Call anyone you know who may not be tuned-in or who may need assistance getting to a protective location.

  • Charge your cell phone in case the power goes out.

If NWS issues a tornado warning or if you see a tornado:


  • If available, go to a FEMA safe room or ICC 500 storm shelter OR go to a small, interior, windowless room in a sturdy building on the lowest level (underground is best) or to a Best Available Refuge Area. Take additional personal cover. Cover your head and neck with your arms and cover your body as best you can, e.g., with a coat or a blanket.

Additional tips to keep in mind during severe weather:


  • Use local alerts, radios, and other information sources, such as FEMA or American Red Cross apps, to get information and advice as soon as it is available.

  • Use text messaging or social media to communicate with family and friends. Telephones and cellular phone systems are often overwhelmed following a disaster, so use phones only for emergency calls.


  • Use extreme care when leaving a building. Do not use matches or lighters inside and leave immediately if you smell gas or see spills that could be flammable. Avoid debris and sharp objects.

  • If you are trapped, stay where you are and cover your mouth with a cloth or mask to avoid breathing dust. Try not to move the debris around you or stir up dust. Send a text, if possible, or bang on a pipe or wall or use a whistle instead of shouting so that you do not breathe in dust.


  • Do not enter damaged buildings until local authorities tell you that it is safe.

  • Stay away from downed power lines and report them to 911 or the power company’s emergency number.

  • Use caution during post-tornado clean-up, including debris removal, chainsaw use, and repairs. Wear boots or heavy shoes to protect your feet; injuries from exposed nails and debris are common after tornadoes.

Emergency weather conditions can occur at any time and any place. It is crucial to plan accordingly. To print a free copy of our Emergency Preparedness Checklist, click here. To view a Basic Disaster Supplies Kit, click here.


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