EAU CLAIRE (WQOW) – This week is Tornado and Severe Weather Awareness Week. Officials want you to know ahead of time, where your safe place is when severe weather strikes.
Whether you live in an apartment, trailer home, house or business, it’s important to know where to go when severe weather hits.
“We average about 23 tornadoes in the state,” said Eau Claire County Emergency Management Coordinator Tyler Esh. “Last year we had over 30, I believe.”
Esh said a basement is the best place to be, but if you don’t have one, look for a room without windows. If you live in an apartment, Esh said to find to find the safest spot in your building.
“The best place to go in an apartment again would be as low as you can if possible,” said Esh. “If you have an underground garage that would be a great spot. First level, if you know people down there, or just an interior room, would be better than just being out in the living room or by the door.”
Trailer homes can be one of the most dangerous spots during severe storms, especially tornadoes.
“They are not really the best place to be,” said Esh. “If you live in one of them, I would encourage you to maybe have arrangements with either family or friends in town. And if we have a tornado watch, just call them up and say ‘you know, I don’t know if I feel safe or comfortable being home tonight, because of the risk of severe weather. Could I come over?’”
Esh said if you’re outside or driving you should find the nearest open building. If you can’t find one, lay down in a ditch and cover your head. He said one of the biggest myths is to take shelter under a bridge.
“If a bunch of vehicles try to go under a bridge, then they could have backed up traffic, or they might cause accidents. Or the bridge creates a wind tunnel, which is extremely dangerous.”
You can download the 27 Storm Track weather app to follow the latest weather conditions as severe weather season begins.