Do you have a plan if severe weather strikes? Help lessen panic by knowing what to do with these 5 quick safety tips on what to do and what not to do if there is a tornado threat.

No doubt, the threat is understandably nerve wracking, especially for us who experienced the destructive and deadly tornado outbreak around the state of Alabama. Having a plan and knowing what you will do in advance will help stay calm during an emergency.

First off, it's important to know the difference between a tornado watch and a tornado warning.

Tornado Watch - Tornadoes are possible in and near the watch area. Review and discuss your emergency plans, and check supplies and your safe room. Be ready to act quickly if a warning is issued or you suspect a tornado is approaching. Acting early helps to save lives!

Tornado Warning - A tornado has been sighted or indicated by weather radar. Tornado warnings indicate imminent danger to life and property. Go immediately under ground to a basement, storm cellar or an interior room (closet, hallway or bathroom).

5 Tornado Safety Tips (provided by the National Weather Service)

  1. Seek shelter in a basement or interior room on the lowest floor of your home or business, such as a closet, bathroom or hallway.
  2. Protect your head from flying debris with a helmet, mattress, pillow, or anything that will provide better protection than your hands.
  3. Abandon mobile homes and vehicles for more substantial shelter.
  4. Stay away from windows, and do not waste time trying to open them.
  5. Do not take shelter under a highway overpass