LITTLE ROCK, Ark. (KTHV) - March 1 marks the unofficial start to spring in the weather world. In Arkansas, this means severe weather season, which means extra precautions need to be made to prepare for a big storm.
In order to be safe and smart with severe weather, one must be aware of the forecast.
The Storm Prediction Center (SPC) is a branch of the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) and issues "risks" days in advance of when the weather could get ugly. This is your first notion to really pay attention to the forecast and the threats that come with it.
On the day or the night of the event, you should look for a watch. In the video above, Warning Coordinator for the Little Rock branch of the National Weather Service says when the watch is issued, you must have a set plan for you and your family.
Whether warnings hits while you're driving in the middle of the day or sleeping in the middle of the night, you must always be aware of the weather situation. At night, have someone in the family awake listening for the weather radio or monitoring local television. Driving during the day, make sure to have alerts set up on your phone for severe weather or be tuned into local radio.
When you live in a brick and mortar home and a tornado warning is issued, the key is to get to the bottom floor away from windows. The more walls between you and the outside, the better.
If you live in a mobile or manufactured home, the key is to get out. Even if the home is tied down, tornadoes can pick up and toss these establishments and be very dangerous. Make a plan ahead of time. See where the nearest storm shelter is, or monitor the weather closely and with enough time go to the nearest concrete building.
If you're driving and a warning is issued be sure not to panic; find a building nearby and stop and take shelter. A common mistake is seeking shelter underneath an overpass. In the video above, there's a demonstration on what to do if you're in the open field. Get out of your car and crouch in a ditch covering your head and stay as low as possible.