FORT WAYNE, Ind. (WANE) — More severe weather could be headed our way Wednesday as the WANE 15 weather team has issued a 15 Fury Alert Day. This new threat comes only days after two tornadoes touched down in Allen County and several others were reported around the area.
Allen County’s Director of Homeland Security, Bernie Beier, told WANE 15 that any time people see an alert like a 15 Fury Alert Day, they should pay special attention and plan ahead on how they can quickly get to a safe location if a severe storm or tornado watch is issued.
“[WANE 15] do a great job of putting messages out throughout the day, and it goes mostly ignored by the public. That’s what we have to do better as a public — to pay attention to those,” Beier said. “Even if it’s a matter of ‘When do I go to bed? Do I stay up another 30 minutes? Do I move? Do I prepare? Do I lean forward or get ready for what might happen,’ If it didn’t happen, [it’s] not a big deal. We’re not spending money. We’re not doing crazy things. We’re just leaning forward and being prepared.”
He said the biggest mistake people make is waiting for a ‘warning’ to be issued and ignoring a ‘watch’ alert.
“It’s not the warning, it’s the watch. People get the warning, what we typically do as a collective community, and it’s not unique to Indiana, is the watch — we blow it off,” Beier explained.
Beier said the watch is when you start preparing and it gives you a buffer because when the warning comes, time usually isn’t on your side.
He suggests people plan ahead and think of where they’ll go if there is severe weather and how they’ll get there. Beier said people should plan ahead based off the expected timing of the storm — thinking about things like cancelling certain plans or staying up later to make sure they are safe if it’s happening in the evening.
“Do I cancel the bike ride? Do we cancel softball practice or bring it in early? Do I chance my picnic plans? Do I stay up and watch a little bit more of that movie in case I need to take action?” Beier asked.
“Waiting for the warning to decide to take action is the wrong thing to do, and unfortunately as a community across the United States, that’s what we do as a public. We don’t take the watches, the extra advisories, all the things that meteorologists put in that left corner and block the score of the game and frustrate us, there’s a reason they’re doing that.”
Beier suggests getting to a basement if a severe storm or tornado watch is issued. If you don’t have a basement, a room on the lowest level without windows is recommended.
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