As trees turn green and flowers think of blooming, our weather begins it unpredictable shift from cold to warm. This shift can bring a slew of severe weather related hazards. Depending on the current yearly weather pattern, spring can bring dry conditions or heavy rains. Dry weather encourages wildfires and can contribute to flooding once intense rains strike. Even late snowfalls and ice storms can catch many people off guard.

But as most Oklahomans know, the most severe threats during spring are tornadoes. Hail, lightning and pouring rain are seasonal occurrences in the southern plains, and tornadoes are a dangerous result of this severe weather. Don’t wait until it’s too late to create your severe weather safety plan.

Practice your safety plan with your family and keep your emergency weather kits at the ready. Batteries, flashlights and weather radios are all excellent items to have in case lightning strikes cause power outages or for other weather related emergencies. Educate your family on the do’s and don’ts of severe flooding, especially the importance of not driving through deep water. In case of dry conditions, keep a fire extinguisher and a water hose handy. It’s also time to clean out your tornado shelter and check for foundational cracks that could cause water to leak into your shelter.

While most people don’t need to use all their emergency items, it is always a safe bet to be well-prepared.  Spring weather can bring unexpected challenges and the best way to stay safe is to be organized, educated and ready for whatever mother nature throws your way.