Weather Wednesday: Using a selfie to prepare for severe weather

In this weeks Weather Wednesday, StormTRACKER meteorologist Jesse Ritka shows us a new social media challenge that aims to prepare selfie-takers for severe weather.

Jessie Selfies

FARGO — There have been several days in the 70s already and as the temperature starts to climb, we know severe weather season is on its way.

“Preparedness itself probably inherently isn't that fun, it's a chore, it's a task you have to do, but we're hoping to change that," says Trevor Boucher, the National Weather Service's Lead Meteorologist in Las Vegas.

From Vegas to Langdon, the national weather service is hoping you will participate in a nationwide effort to prepare for severe weather.

“Ask yourself where your safe place would be for a weather situation that would be common for that time of the year and for where you are located," Trevor says.

Snap a selfie in that safeplace and share it on social media with the hashtag #SafePlaceSelfie.


“It helps educate others too. Dress up in a costume if you'd like, whatever you want to make it fun," Trevor says.

It doesn’t take much time, just have a chat with your family about where you should go in a severe weather situation, go there and snap that selfie.

Hopefully taking a picture will help you remember what to do when the weather turns dangerous.

"Watching the storm coming is great when it's 20 miles away from you. When it's within a few miles of you, you need to be getting into shelter, and that’s because it's moving quickly, that storm could be moving at 20, 30, 40, 50 mph an hour and you have a minute or two. You don’t have time to see the storm and make your decisions at that point," says Greg Gust, warning coordination meteorologist with the National Weather Service.

So taking the time now to find that safe place when severe weather isn't a threat could help help you when it is.

“You did all the hard work beforehand, and that might be the difference between the minutes it takes in a tornado situation for you to go from where you are to where you know your safe place is, if you have to make that decision while you are in the middle of a tornado event or a flash flood event those minutes might be the difference between life and death," says Trevor.


This is a great time to not only think about the safe place in your home but also figure out the safe place at your work and any vacation spots you plan to visit as we head into severe weather season.

Jesse Ritka is a StormTracker meteorologist and holds the AMS Certified Broadcast Meteorologist seal of approval.

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