How to prepare for severe weather overnight

Lawton_Our area will see some pretty intense weather overnight Wednesday, and that always makes for very dangerous situations. Night-time tornadoes and severe weather systems kill more people simply because they don't know the storm is there. Now though we don't expect the worst of this severe weather system to hit our area directly Wednesday night, you should still be prepared because you really can't predict exactly how a storm will build and turn.

First you need to have a family plan; tell your kids you might wake them up if there's a tornado warning overnight. And to know if there's that warning, you need to have your weather radio on. "You can program for just Comanche County, so you can be alerted just for something happening in the county," said Clint Wagstaff, the director of Comanche County Emergency Management. "The older models, any time there's a warning anywhere, they would go off, and the newer ones you can program to the local area."

But what do you do in the middle of a stormy night if you don't have a weather radio? First, you can sign up to get weather warnings sent to your cell phone. "Do an online search for that, find that and you could register for that probably tonight and get it activated tonight too, that's a possibility," said SkyWarn 7 Chief Meteorologist Pat Walker. "And if you hear the thunder at all, if you hear that thunder, get up, check out the weather, don't ignore it. It may take you a matter of just 30 seconds."

You can also keep your t-v tuned to our 24/7 channel, which just plays soft music under weather graphics. But if there's a severe weather threat, a SkyWarn 7 meteorologist will cut in, which should wake you up. "Of course, if you leave it on the 24/7 channel during the overnight hours, you're going to see the radar," he says. "You're going to see the storm tracker, you're going to see the vipir, and you can kind of [think], 'hey, maybe I can sleep maybe 30 more minutes right now,'" Walker said.

Also overnight, make sure to have your severe weather kit near your bed so you can grab it on the way to your shelter. To see exactly what you should have in your severe weather safety kit, go to our web site at and click on the weather tab. There you'll find SkyWarn 7 meteorologist Dan Zarrow's presentation on severe weather kits.