Md. Severe Storms Awareness Week Underway In The State

Marylanders are reminded to take precautions and be ready when severe weather hits.

Reisterstown, Md (KM) From now until Sunday, April 16th is Maryland Severe Storms Awareness Week. This year’s theme is “Don’t Get Caught in the Storm—be MdReady.”

Ed McDonough, spokesman for the Maryland Department of Emergency Management, says a number of spring weather hazards include “severe thunderstorms which of course can spawn tornadoes; flooding which can come as a result of these severe storms; hail, which, although not as common here as in some other places; can still cause some damage; lightning which is obviously a concern everywhere,” he says.

But this year, particular there will a lot of  emphasis is on tornadoes, McDonough says, and what to do when a tornado warning is issued. “Typically, when you’re inside, that’s means you should get to the lowest level possible in whatever building you’re in, and preferably  in an interior room without windows and away from outside walls.” he says.

If you’re in a large structure, such as a school, McDonough says you need to stay out of large rooms such as auditoriums, cafeterias or gymnasiums. “Typically, those buildings are not as strong—particularly in this part of the country—to withstand the potential damaging winds of a tornado as like a school hallway that doesn’t have any windows or exterior walls around it,” he says.

On Wednesday, April 12th, the Maryland Department of Emergency Management and the National Weather Service will be holding the Great Maryland Twister Test tornado drill. “And so at 10:00 AM, we are encouraging schools and businesses and individuals and community groups—if they can do it then; if not, maybe at other times–to practice what to do during a tornado, getting to those interior rooms,” says McDonough.

Regarding other weather hazards, McDonough says it’s important to take action if you’re outside and see signs  of a thunderstorm approaching. “If you hear thunder.  get everybody out under cover–not under a tree, undercover–a pavilion, a building, or inside a care as quickly as possible,” he says.

And with thunderstorms come  lightning. “One of the catch phrases we use is ‘if thunder roars. go indoors,'” says McDonough. “Because if you can hear thunder, then it’s possible you’re in an area that could be struck by lightning.”

For more information on safety tips during severe weather, you can visit or

By Kevin McManus