If a big storm were to hit your area, are you prepared?


TYLER (KYTX) -  The threat of severe weather always reminds us to stay prepared, and there are lots of families right here in East Texas that already are.

There are lots of things to do now, like figuring out where the safest spot in your home is, or setting aside an emergency kit.

"I just want to be prepared before the storm hits," says Tyler mother Paige Weisgram.She and her 2-year-old daughter Siena moved to East Texas less than a year ago.

"The weather is very sporadic and the tornadoes are something we're just not accustomed to," she said.

After some recent storms Weisgram took action.

"We always have our extra water and food on storage, we also have our important documents ready to go," she said.

Tammy Prater with Smith County Red Cross hopes more people would think like Weisgram. She says the time to prepare is now.

"The challenge is to pay attention. It's important to know the difference between a watch and a warning. A watch is here's some bad weather, pay attention. The warning is, it's time to take cover," Prater said.

The question is, when our meteorologists tell you the bad weather is here, what do you do next?

Prater says, "You want to go to the lowest level of your home and you want to go to an interior room."

What if you live in a mobile home?

"You might want to look at some place in the neighborhood that may be safer."

What about an upstairs apartment?

"Try to know your downstairs neighbors. Maybe your facility has a community room," Prater said.

There's also a free Red Cross Tornado app that can help before, during and after a storm.

"It will link the GPS in your phone to the National Weather Service," Prater said.

Weisgram has the app and shares her emergency plans with little Siena.

"She understands other dangerous things so she understands that when mommy makes a plan we have to follow and listen," Weisgram says.

It's better to prepare now, before it's too late.

That Red Cross app has all types of emergency lights, first aid information, locations where Red Cross is stationed during a storm, and a function to make your family's emergency plan.

It gives you advice. For example, if you're caught outside when a storm hits, you should find a low spot like a ditch, but make sure you stay away from trees, fences or poles.

It's not just important to know about the safe spots in your home. You should also take a look at where you work. It's important to know where you would go if a tornado hit while you're at the office.



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