The National Weather Service has issued a Tornado Watch for Southwest Florida until 8 p.m. this evening.
A tornado watch means tornadoes are possible in and near the watch area. Review and discuss your emergency plans, and check supplies and your safe room. Be ready to act quickly if a warning is issued or you suspect a tornado is approaching.
During any storm, listen to local news or a NOAA Weather Radio to stay informed about watches and warnings.
- Know your community's warning system. Communities have different ways of warning residents about tornados, with many having sirens intended for outdoor warning purposes.
- Pick a safe room in your home where household members and pets may gather during a tornado. This should be a basement, storm cellar or an interior room on the lowest floor with no windows.
- Prepare for high winds by removing diseased and damaged limbs from trees.
- Move or secure lawn furniture, trash cans, hanging plants or anything else that can be picked up by the wind and become a projectile.
- Watch for tornado danger signs:
- Dark, often greenish clouds a phenomenon caused by hail
- Wall cloud an isolated lowering of the base of a thunderstorm
- Cloud of debris
- Large hail
- Funnel cloud a visible rotating extension of the cloud base
- Roaring noise
Residents can get their families and homes ready for a tornado with the official Tornado App from the American Red Cross. The Tornado app puts everything you need to know prepare for a tornado and all that comes with it in the palm of your hand. Download it directly from the iTunes or Google Play app stores.
The American Red Cross shelters, feeds and provides emotional support to people affected by disasters; supplies about 40 percent of the nation's blood; teaches lifesaving skills; provides international humanitarian aid; and supports military members and their families. The Red Cross is a charitable organization - not a government agency - and depends on volunteers and the generosity of the American public to perform its mission. For more information, please visit redcross.org or join our blog at blog.redcross.org .