We usually start seeing severe storms pop up here in May, which is fast approaching. So this week is designated as “Severe Weather Awareness Week” in North Dakota.

You’ll want to be prepared for all modes of severe weather — that’s anything from severe thunderstorm hazards like wind, hail, lightning, tornadoes and flash flooding. All of these will happen here in North Dakota.

Knowing when to be prepared is important. Just because there’s a severe storm chance doesn’t mean you have to cancel your plans.

A watch is issued in advance of the severe storms. You’ll see whole counties under the alert. It means we’re watching the ingredients come together for a severe storm. When you see a watch, make note of the timing. That’s when you should be ready to deploy your safety plan.

A warning is issued when the storm is happening or we have an indication that there may be a tornado on the ground. When you see a warning, that is the time you should be strategically sheltered from the storm. An interior room or a basement is the best place to be.