Police Chief Timothy Hanlon and Fire Chief Timothy Clancy would like to provide residents with safety tips during tornadoes and severe thunderstorms.
With severe weather, including heavy rain and high winds, occurring regularly in Massachusetts this summer, the Whitman Police and Fire Departments would like to offer safety tips from the Massachusetts Emergency Management Agency (MEMA) to residents and community members.
Learn the Terminology
- A Tornado Watch is when a tornado may occur based on weather conditions such as heavy rain and high winds.
- A Tornado Warning is when a tornado has been spotted or is actively occurring. When a tornado warning is issued, you should immediately take shelter.
The same terminology is used for other weather events, including Severe Thunderstorms, High Winds and Flooding.
- Tornadoes can develop rapidly, often with no visible or advanced warning.
- Remain informed by following local weather stations for updates. Residents can also sign up for emergency alerts through the town. Follow instructions given by public safety officials.
- Residents should remain alert to changing weather conditions. Common signs of an approaching tornado include:
- A revolving, funnel-shaped cloud
- A dark, almost greenish sky
- A large dark, low-lying cloud
- Large hail
- A loud roar, similar to the sound of a freight train
- Create and review an emergency plan for your household.
- Determine safe locations to seek shelter such as a basement, storm cellar or bathroom.
- When seeking shelter, avoid spaces with large windows and open areas.
- Create an emergency kit equipped with essential items including battery packs, non-perishable foods, and anything else your family or household may need, including copies of important documents or medications.
- After a tornado warning has been issued stay indoors and avoid outdoor activities until it is safe to do so.
If Caught in a Storm
- Be aware of potential flooding.
- If outside, lay flat in a nearby ditch or low-lying area and be sure to cover your head with your arms, a coat or a cushion, if possible.
- Watch out for flying debris.
- If possible, seek shelter in a nearby building.
- Never go under a bridge or overpass, remain in a flat location.
Once the Storm Passes
- Call 911 to report emergencies and injuries.
- Stay away from downed wires or broken glass.
- Check your property for damage.
- Check on family, friends, and neighbors, especially the elderly.
- Stay out of damaged buildings until they are deemed safe by authorities.
- Continue to follow news and weather reports.
To sign-up for alerts from the Town of Whitman, click here.