Severe Weather Awareness

Are you prepared for severe weather?

Do you want to ensure that you will be alerted to severe weather events in the area? Purchase a NOAA weather radio, which provides emergency alerts and information 24 hours a day. You can program a NOAA Weather Radio to broadcast alerts based on the county that you reside in, ensuring that you have ample time to take shelter. Visit the National Weather Service's NOAA Weather Radio page to learn more. The following graphic shows the difference between a Forecast, Watch and a Warning.


Severe Weather Shelter Information

 Follow these simple guidelines when it comes to sheltering from a tornado.
  • Go to the lowest possible level of a building or structure (Ex: First floor, basement, storm cellar)
  • Choose an interior room with no windows, such as a closet or bathroom
  • Get underneath sturdy piece of furniture and cover neck and head
  • Avoid places / rooms with wide-span roofs (cafeterias, gymnasiums, shopping malls)
  • Mobile Homes are not safe shelters; you should make plans before the storm arrives to get to a pre-planned shelter
  • Do not attempt to outrun a tornado in your automobile, seek shelter inside a nearby building. Be sure not to choose a large box store with a wide-span roof
  • If stranded outside lie down in a ditch or low lying area away from the vehicle, but remain aware of possible flash flooding
  • Do not seek shelter underneath a bridge or overpass

Why doesn't Southlake have public storm shelters?

The City does not have public storm shelters because while they may seem like a good idea, they often come with more risks than benefits to residents including:
  • Opening public buildings as storm shelters gives a false sense of security and may offer no more protection than a well-built residential structure.
  • Traveling to a public storm shelter could put you at greater risk than if you sheltered in place. Traffic is likely to get congested if everyone is heading toward one location. Your vehicle is one of the most dangerous places to be during a tornado.
  • Tornadoes can happen at night. If a storm wakes you at 2 a.m. you likely won’t have enough time to gather your family, load them into a car and drive to a storm shelter. Sheltering in place affords you the quickest and best protection for a short notice event.
  • The City has not built public storm shelters because it would be impossible to shelter even a small percentage of the population.

Storm Spotter Training

Skywarn is the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration's (NOAA) National Weather Service's (NWS) severe weather spotting program with nearly 290,000 trained volunteers nationwide. Since the late 1960’s, trained Skywarn spotters have helped support the NWS's primary mission of protecting life and property through the issuance of severe weather warnings. These dedicated citizens help keep their local community safe by conveying severe weather reports to their local NWS Forecast Office. Skywarn spotters are integral to the success of our Nation's severe weather warning system.

The Office of Emergency Management utilizes Skywarn trained storm spotters in conjunction with the Northeast Tarrant Amateur Radio Club to monitor the skies in the event of severe weather.
Every year the NWS conducts Skywarn spotter training sessions. There is no charge and a typical class takes about 2 hours to conduct. For information on Skywarn Training please visit the National Weather Service's Skywarn Page or find local training information from the NWS.