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NWS urges Virginians to be prepared for spring storms

Posted at 1:03 PM, Mar 18, 2021
and last updated 2021-03-18 13:03:42-04

RICHMOND, Va. -- It's Severe Weather Awareness Week in Virginia, and the National Weather Service (NWS) wants you to think about your plans for severe weather -- especially because storms are possible throughout the state Thursday and Friday.

If we get a severe weather watch or warning this spring, the NWS said they want you to take it seriously.

Eric Seymour, warning coordination meteorologist with NWS Wakefield, said if you're outside and you get a storm warning, be sure to move indoors. If there’s a tornado warning, he said you need to seek shelter in an interior room away from windows.

"It's those different kinds of things we're really trying to highlight to get folks just thinking about that," Seymour explained. "And coming up with a plan for where you're going to go. If I'm out somewhere, and my kids are at home, you know, do my kids know what the plan is? Do they know where to go in the house, because you know, I may not be able to be there to tell them and things like that."

The NWS said it's important to consider alternative power sources for phones and other electronic devices because if you lose power, you’ll need a device to access additional weather alerts.

"That's one of those, you know, very kind of easy things, but it's easy to forget about doing," Seymour explained.

The NWS also advises you to not only think about how to get through the storm itself, but also think about the aftermath. Have plenty of batteries on hand, as well as food and water, in case you lose power for an extended period of time.

"As we saw with the ice storm a couple weeks ago, a lot of folks were without power for several days," said Seymour. "So how are you going to cope with that? You know, you've got to have different things, you know, because I can't cook at that point. So how do I deal with preparing food? Some places may not have water at that point."

While last year was a quiet weather season, Seymour says this winter has been active, meaning we could get serious storms this spring.

"It looks like we're we're at least seeing at least for the next kind of seven to ten days of weather, it's getting more active again," he explained. "This time of the year, when you start dealing with, you know, warm air trying to move north, you still have cold air, you know, that's trying to move south, and you get those classes of air masses, you know, things can get extremely active from a severe weather perspective."

You can find additional information about creating your own emergency weather plan here.