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Published May 01, 2012, 09:54 PM

As Temps Warm, Make Sure to Have Plan for Severe Weather

GRAND FORKS (WDAZ-TV) - Summer storms including high winds, hail, tornadoes or flash flooding can sneak up on us. During Severe Summer Weather Awareness Week, local officials want to remind you of how to stay safe when storms hit.

GRAND FORKS (WDAZ-TV) - Summer storms including high winds, hail, tornadoes or flash flooding can sneak up on us. During Severe Summer Weather Awareness Week, local officials want to remind you of how to stay safe when storms hit.

Weather can change within minutes and having a plan of where to go and what to do can save your life.

This time of year, temperatures are getting warmer, the sun is usually shining and people are outside having fun. But that can change pretty quickly.

"We're going to see severe thunderstorms, possibility of tornadoes, hail, high winds," Grand Forks Public Information Officer Kevin Dean said.

"The other half of our climate up in the northern plains is severe weather including large hail, tornadoes obviously, and the one that many folks forget: lightning," National Weather Service Meteorologist Mark Ewens said.

This week is Severe Summer Weather Awareness Week. It's to remind people what it means when the sirens go off.

"Whether there's a tornado spotted, a wall cloud, straight-line winds, something along those lines. The fifth reason is if there's any type of imminent danger to the city of Grand Forks," Dean said.

Sirens are tested in the city of Grand Forks the first Wednesday of each month. City officials say don't ignore them any other time.

"Don't just think it's an exercise. Don't just think it might just be something we're practicing, take a look outside," Dean said.

No matter where you are when bad weather hits, it is important to have a plan in place so everyone knows where to go to stay safe.

"In a basement, if a basement isn't possible, the interior hallway or closet of the structure you are in. To not try to outrun tornadoes if you're on the highway, but abandon a vehicle and get into a low spot," Ewens said.

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