Washington County Sheriff - Weather Safety

Our state is known for its varied weather. A storm can pop up out of nowhere and could put you and your family at risk. These articles give tips on how to be prepared for a storm, where to go and what to do. It also gives suggestions for extreme heat protection for you, your family and your pets. For a list of all archived articles visit our Articles List.

Weather Safety Articles


Severe Weather Preparedness Tips

Did you know that hundreds of people die each year in the United States due to weather related incidents?  Additionally, thousands of people are injured by these weather events each year. Don’t let it happen to you.


Tornadoes can produce winds greater than 300 mph, and can travel across the ground at up to 60 mph.  They can develop any time of day, any month of the year, but are most common in the afternoon and evening, and in the spring and fall.  Tornadoes are most common across the Great Plains and Gulf States regions of the US.  More tornadoes occur in the United States than any other country in the world, and more tornadoes occur in Texas than any other state.

Below-ground shelters, and reinforced "safe rooms" provide the best protection against tornadic winds. 

Other options include:

In homes or small buildings, go to the northeast corner of a basement.  If a basement is not available, go to the smallest, most-interior room on the lowest floor, such as a closet or bathroom. Cover yourself to protect your body from flying debris.

In schools, hospitals, factories or shopping centers, go to the smallest, most-interior rooms and hallways on the lowest floor. Stay away from glass enclosed places or areas with wide-span roofs such as auditoriums and warehouses. Crouch down and cover your head.

In high rise buildings, go to the smallest, most-interior rooms or hallways. Stay away from exterior walls and windows.

In cars or mobile homes, abandon them immediately!! Cars and mobile homes provide no protection from tornadic winds. If you are in either of those locations, leave them and go to a substantial structure or designated tornado shelter. Do not attempt to seek shelter beneath an overpass or bridge.  They provide little or no shelter and have proved to be deadly options.

If caught in the open, lie flat in a culvert, ditch or depression and cover your head.

Lightning is a threat anywhere thunderstorms occur.  If you hear thunder, it is time to take shelter.

When inside:
If caught outdoors:
Flash Floods
Flash Floods develop quickly.  They can occur anywhere, along rivers or creeks, in low water crossings or in a dry stream bed. They can occur during any month and at any time during the day. In fact, flash floods often occur at night when it is difficult to find an escape route.  Flash floods can be deceptive. Flood waters are likely deeper and moving faster than you think.

When driving: If you are outside:

Article by Texas Severe Storm Association






Information and recommendations are compiled from sources believed to be reliable. The Sheriff’s Office  makes no guarantee as to and assumes no responsibility for the correctness, sufficiency or completeness of such information or recommendations. Other or additional safety measures may be required under particular circumstances.

Last Revised: 10/14

Back To Top

Back To Archived Articles List