Preparation Before the Storm

By: Kristen Ross Email
By: Kristen Ross Email

It may come as a surprise but lightning is the number two storm-related killer, beating out tornadoes.

Both Bryan and College Station have lightning sirens at a handful of locations around town, and when you hear them sound you'll want to take cover.

"They detect electrical buildup in the atmosphere and it's detected by sensors on them and when it gets up to a certain level it'll sound," said Curtis Bingham with the City of College Station Parks and Recreation Department.

When the coast is clear the lightning sirens will later sound three times.

The sirens have been installed in Bryan at the Bryan Aquatic Center and throughout parks in College Station, to warn children in particular about impending danger.

"We have lots of activities out in the parks especially with the youth athletics and things of that sort," said Bingham. "When it sounds the coaches know to take them off the fields and wait till everything kind of clears out."

In the past the installment of tornado sirens in College Station has been voted down, due in large part to the high cost.

"Tornados, you may be surprised but they don't kill as many people as lightning does every year so lightning is definitely a much higher threat than tornados," said KBTX Meteorologist Shane Motley.

Even though not all cities have been equipped with tornado sirens, doesn't mean you can't have one in your home.

"You can actually have your own personal tornado siren by going out and purchasing one of the NOAA weather radios, and those will sound alarms when tornado warnings are issued and other weather watches as well," Motley said.

The radios can give up to the minute updates, and even function when the power goes out.

Desktop weather on can also keep you informed on the latest weather warnings.

When all else fails, a simple rhyme may help.

"When thunder roars head indoors, and you'll stay safe," Motley said.

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