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April 22, 2021

For some parts of the country, tornado watches and warnings are as common as earthquakes in California or mudslides in Pennsylvania. However, if you live outside of a hotbed of tornado action, this may be a new and terrifying weather experience for you.

Along with having reliable communication with a radio to monitor any changing circumstances, you should have a storm shelter, a plan, and supplies, in case a tornado watch suddenly becomes a tornado warning.

What’s the Difference Between a Tornado Warning and a Watch?

 The main distinction between a watch and a warning is that, with a watch, you should only be wary and alert to any changing weather situations, but with a warning, you need to take action.

The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Association (NOAA) issues weather alerts. If you enjoy wild adventures off the beaten path, you need the right tools to be prepared and safe during your next expedition. A radio tuned to the NOAA channel frequency can alert you to any changing conditions.

What Should I Do if There’s a Tornado Watch Near Me?

A tornado watch is issued when the conditions are optimal for a tornado to develop. When cool, dry air and warm wet air converge, usually during ferocious thunderstorms, they create instability in the atmosphere that may turn into a tornado.

If you are notified by your weather alert radio that there is a tornado watch in your area, double-check that all your resources are in place. Ensure everyone in your family understands the safety plan and knows where to go if the NOAA issues a tornado warning.

The best place to be in a tornado is a safe, secure place underground like a fortified basement or bunker. You need at least one gallon of water per person, cans of food, a can opener, battery-operated or hand-crank radios, and a light source in your shelter. Also, check that all the batteries are fresh and that the food and water are still viable.

What Should I Do During a Tornado Warning?

Technically, a tornado warning indicates a set of circumstances in which a tornado or tornadoes have been sighted in the area or detected by radar. If you get a tornado warning, you need to act immediately.

Gather your family and loved ones, including any pets, and head to your storm shelter. If you don’t have a storm shelter, you should head down to the basement or the center of a room with reinforced walls, preferably away from any windows such as a closet or bathroom.

Best Radios During Dire Weather

 One of the best tools to protect yourself during a tornado warning is a battery-powered radio that receives weather alerts. Some radios hone their results to your geographical area, so you know exactly what will happen well before it occurs. Here are two excellent weather alert radios to keep you safe and secure in the instance of a tornado warning.

Midland WR300 Emergency Weather Alert Radio


With S.A.M.E. localized reception, you only get the alerts that pertain to your area. There are color-coded indicator lights to tell you quickly and precisely what’s going on when you need it most. There’s also a programmable siren, and the radio switches over as soon as it receives weather alerts.

Midland HH50B Pocket Weather Alert Radio


This is a great radio that fits in your pocket, purse, or backpack. Alert override makes sure you are apprised of any change in the weather, and the telescopic antenna gives you perfect reception every time.

Stay Vigilant During Tornado Season

If you like to head out into the unknown, you know that being prepared is the best safety precaution you can take. When you spend a lot of time outdoors, the changing weather is your worst enemy.

By having a battery-powered radio with you at all times, you will be ahead of the weather. A tornado watch lets you know that conditions are optimal for tornado development. In the event of a tornado watch, check your plan and resources.

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