WILKES-BARRE, LUZERNE COUNTY (WBRE/WYOU-TV) We all know the dangers of severe weather here in northeastern and central Pennsylvania. It’s not exclusive and can strike anywhere, and at any time.
But when severe weather is getting close, where do you go? The answer depends on where you live.
The sights… The sounds… And the dangers. Spring rolls in, and so do the storms.
“Severe thunderstorms can produce winds stronger than some tornadoes in our area,” said Dave Nicosia with the National Weather Service Binghamton.
Straight-line winds or tornado, the damage can be devastating. The key is to be prepared based on where you live. Your best bet is to get to the basement if you have one.
“If you don’t have a basement, you go into an interior room in the lowest level of your house.”
But let’s say you don’t live in a house. Let’s say you live in an apartment.
“Apartment buildings are usually a little bit better built than homes. You want to be away from windows in an interior room,” said Nicosia.
And if you’re on a high floor, don’t be afraid to knock on your neighbor’s door.
“If you have neighbors or friends on the lowest level, that’s where you want to go.”
When it comes to storms, while we always hope for the best, preparing for the worst is even more important if you live in a mobile home.
“It only takes 70-80 mph wind to destroy a mobile home… And that’s why there are a lot of deaths in mobile homes.”
If you live in a mobile home and see severe weather in the forecast, you want to make a plan to leave before the storm.
“You probably should have an alternate location to go to where it’s safe.”
And no, leaving is not an overreaction.
“It’s just one of those things where it’s a little inconvenience, but if storms are coming, I mean, it doesn’t take a tornado to cause damage in a mobile home. That’s the thing. It could just be a 70 mph wind.”
Finally, to all the outdoorsy adventurers out there, if you’re planning to be nowhere near a structural shelter…
“If you go camping, it’s really important to check the weather. If you don’t check the weather, you’re going in blind.”
Because if severe weather moves in and you’re caught in it, “With storms in the forecast, the worst place to be is in a tent. Not only do you risk lightning, but we have lost people in Pennsylvania to trees falling on tents!”
And in the end, your safety is what matters most.
You can find more from our Severe Weather Handbook here.