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CTX experts break down severe weather preparations

Posted: 6:19 PM, Mar 15, 2019
Updated: 2019-03-15 23:19:24Z
Tornado damage

CENTRAL TEXAS, TX — Severe weather season is officially here in Central Texas, but how do you prepare?

Central Texas News Now did some digging on how to best prepare yourself with tips from the fire chief in Harker Heights, and a Central Texas woman explained she has survived several tornadoes.

Not everyone can say they have been through multiple tornadoes and survived, and Louise Skinner shared just that.

"So going through about four or five different tornadoes in my life, some closer than others, essentially it's to keep with your family, keep in narrow hallways, stay away from windows," said Skinner.

She described them as terrifying experiences, yet she has managed to stay alive.

"It truly is terrifying, because you don't know if it's going to hit you directly, is it going to side swipe you, are you going to lose the roof to your house. You don't know," said Skinner.

So, how do you prepare for severe weather, and in particular, tornadoes? We reached out to fire chief Paul Sims in Harker Heights to get some insight

"You need to take immediate action to secure yourself and or your family. How do you do that? Well, if you're at home, you want to have a plan on what you're going to do and that plan means we're going to go to an interior room we're going to get as low as we can if you're in a two story home or a three story home you want to get as low as you can on the first floor," said Sims, who is also the city's emergency management coordinator.

He also explained, if you do find yourself on the road during a tornado their best advice is for you to exit your vehicle.

"You don't want to be in the car. You want to get out of your vehicle and get to a low area, a low ditch," said Skinner.

They also shared, when it comes to survival, it's best to have a plan in place.

"For severe weather situation, I would always bring, we always have water, canned food that isn't perishable, we have a radio," said Skinner.

"You want to have spare batteries, you want to have bottled water, maybe one gallon jugs of water. You want to have some medicines, you want to have band aids. You want to have some important family documents," said Sims.

Another essential tip, have the First Alert Central Texas Weather App downloaded to your phone as a potentially life saving tool.

Bell County also offers a reverse 911 system called " Code Red " that allows people to sign up and receive emergency weather alerts.