Tornado survivors more aware of severe weather warnings

By WEEK Producer

April 28, 2014 Updated Apr 29, 2014 at 12:11 AM CDT

WASHINGTON, Ill. -- The November tornadoes have made first responders in Washington more aware of severe weather.

Police dispatchers in Washington are keeping a close eye on the system.

Since November, emergency responders have been meeting regularly to discuss disaster plans.

"We're paying more attention to the weather,” said Washington Police Chief Don Volk. “We always thought something like that will never happen but now that it has we are paying more attention. The guys that were working the day the tornado hit are really paying attention.”

The National Weather Service keeps in close contact with police ensuring that if there is severe weather, the sirens are set off as quickly as possible.

It is not just first responders keeping an eye on the radar, many people in Washington are tracking this storm themselves.

Most of the residents we spoke with were very aware of the potential for severe weather on Monday.

Many have talked to their kids about implemented disaster plans that they did not have before. They also now pay better attention to their weather radios, the weather reports here on News 25 and sirens.

Most of all they take watches and warnings a lot more seriously.

"It just heightens your awareness in the past you may not have taken a watch or a warning so serious but with what happened last year, last November you do take it a little more serious,” said Sunnyland Resident Tim Becker. “I watched the Weather Channel like all day yesterday."

"More cautious, kind of scared really,” said Washington Resident Lynette Boundy. “I do check the weather more, pay more attention to the sirens."

Another resident we spoke with lost her home in November. She says she is a lot more prepared for severe weather.

Audrey Turner keeps all of her important documents in a central location as well as copies on a flash drive just in case.

If a tornado warning is issued, get to the lowest level of your home and stay away from windows and doors.

If you are in your car, park and put your head down below the windows.

Never try to out run a severe storm.

For more severe weather tips, click on the link above.

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