Staying ahead of the storm - WBTV 3 News, Weather, Sports, and Traffic for Charlotte, NC

Staying ahead of the storm

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CHARLOTTE, NC (WBTV) -

A series of deadly storms that pummeled the Midwest combined with the recent rain in Charlotte and surrounding areas reminds us that hurricane season is here.

"It's not if you're going to have severe weather, it's when you're going to have severe weather," said WBTV meteorologist Al Conklin,

Getting the latest warnings when storms are headed your way, and knowing what to do before, during and after a disaster hits are all key to staying safe.

"You have to have a weather safety plan," said Conklin. 

"In other words know what your risk is."

First thing - keep up with the forecast.

"Stay on top of the situation by monitoring WBTV and if you can't, then mobile phone is the way to go," added Conklin.

The WBTV weather app is free.

It will give you warnings, alerts and keep you updated on information so you'll know what's going on.  

"If a warning comes out what is your game plan, what is your plan of action, where are you going to go, what are you going to do to protect your life, property your pets?" said Conklin.

Here are some other digital tools to help you through a storm safely.

For about $4, the NOAA Weather Radio app and streams more than 200 NOAA broadcasts.

It includes radar, push notifications, emergency warnings for your state and detailed weather reports.

The free Tornado app from the American Red Cross tells you how to prepare for and recover from a tornado. It also helps you find Red Cross shelters.

And whether you like it or not all smartphones come with a built in weather warning.

"There's no way to turn it off and it's actually a pretty good thing," said Conklin. 

"If you happen to drive across a warned area your phone will go off and let you know about that and as soon as you drive away from it, it goes away."

Keep in mind that you'll want to save power on your Smartphone in case the electricity goes out, so use it sparingly.

Also good to keep in mind - if a disaster hits life is probably not going to be normal for a couple days.

Expect to be on your own without any government or help from officials for at least 72 hours.

That means having enough drinking water for your family and pets, have enough medication, and have cash on hand.

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