Family Preparedness Friday

Moderate Risk – Do You Know Where to Shelter?

The National Weather Service’s Storm Prediction Center has listed the central U.S. under a Moderate Risk for severe weather in the Day Three Outlook.

Graphic courtesy of NOAA’s National Weather Service.



A moderate risk implies a concentration of severe thunderstorms, and in most situations, an increased magnitude of severe weather. Moderate risk is usually reserved for days with substantial severe storm coverage, or an enhanced chance for a significant severe storm outbreak. Typical moderate risk days include multiple tornadic supercells with very large hail, or intense squall lines with widespread damaging winds.

The last time the SPC issued a moderate risk was April 27, 2011. You may remember that day as the day 200 confirmed tornadoes touched down, destroying much of Mississippi, Alabama., Georgia, and Tennessee.

Tornado Tracks: April 24-29, 2011

With the expectation of impending bad weather, this is the perfect time to review your family’s sheltering plan.

Remember, different disasters may require different means of sheltering. Some disasters may require you to make a decision whether to evacuate or shelter-in-place.

When making the decision remember to:

  • Listen to local radio or television stations, or listen to your weather radio for continual updates.
  • If authorities tell you to evacuate, immediately grab essentials and go. – Authorities will not ask you to leave unless they determine that lives may be in danger.
  • Use common sense.
  • If you have time to prepare your home, do it.

Be sure to remind your family about the difference in “Watch” and “Warning”. Watches mean conditions are favorable for severe weather to occur; type of watch will be indicated in the name (i.e. Flood Watch, Sever Thunderstorm Watch, Tornado Watch). Warnings mean radar or satellite indicates and/or reliable spotter reports severe weather is occurring; type of warning will be indicated in the name (i.e. Sever Thunderstorm Warning, Tornado Warning).

For more information on sheltering and evacuations click here.

Where is your family’s sheltering plan? Let us know in the comment section.