Watch vs. Warning

A WATCH means severe weather is possible, but not yet happening. Keep checking up on the weather throughout the day, have a plan ready in case warnings are issued for your area.

A WARNING means severe weather is happening in your area. Seek shelter, and get to a safe place.


When thunder roars, go indoors! Move from outdoors into a building or car with a roof.

Pay attention to alerts and warnings.

Avoid using electronic devices connected to an electrical outlet.

Avoid running water.

Turn around, don’t drown! Do not drive through flooded roadways. Just six inches of fast-moving water can knock you down, and one foot of moving water can sweep your vehicle away.


Know your area’s tornado risk. In the U.S., the Midwest and the Southeast have a greater risk for tornadoes.

Know the signs of a tornado, including a rotating, funnel-shaped cloud, an approaching cloud of debris, or a loud roar like a freight train.

Sign up for your community’s warning system. The Emergency Alert System (EAS) and NOAA Weather Radio also provide emergency alerts and the Erie News Now app. If your community has sirens, then become familiar with the warning tone.

Pay attention to First Warning Weather reports. Our team can predict when conditions might be right for a tornado.

Identify and practice going to a safe shelter such as a safe room built using FEMA criteria or a storm shelter built to ICC 500 standards. The next best protection is a small, interior, windowless room or basement on the lowest level of a sturdy building.

Plan for your pet. They are an important member of your family, so they need to be included in your family’s emergency plan.

Prepare for long-term stay at home or sheltering in place by gathering emergency supplies, cleaning supplies, non-perishable foodswater, medical supplies and medication.


Find safe shelter right away.

Do not walk, swim or drive through flood waters. Turn around, don’t drown!

Remember, just six inches of moving water can knock you down, and one foot of moving water can sweep your vehicle away.

Stay off bridges over fast-moving water.

Depending on the type of flooding:

  • Evacuate if told to do so.
  • Move to higher ground or a higher floor.
  • Stay where you are.


To stay safe, you need to stay aware of the weather, and what is going on around you.

Storms, such as thunderstorms, can create dangerous waves and currents at the beach, even on a sunny day! Even small waves can hit you with the force of a car. Getting knocked down or pinned to the sand can cause serious injury.

Know how to swim.

Follow the rules of the beach and the flag system.