Along with watching WDBJ7, you should should know where to go during severe storms and tornadoes. Below are important terms to listen/watch for, along with advice on where to go during severe storms.
SEVERE THUNDERSTORM WATCH
means conditions are right for strong to severe storm development. This doesn't mean severe weather will occur, only that it's possible. You should continue to monitor the weather closely for changes.
SEVERE THUNDERSTORM WARNING
means a storm has developed which contains one or more of the following: 1" Hail, 58mph+ wind gusts or, in rare cases, a tornado. A track is issued with each warning. See if your area is in the storm's path and seek shelter indoors away from windows until the storm passes.
means conditions are right for a tornado to form. This doesn't mean one is on the ground. You should plan where to go if a WARNING is issued. Monitor the weather for updates.
means a tornado has actually been sighted by a storm spotter or by doppler radar, and may be headed your way. When a warning is issued, take cover quickly.
KNOW THE SIGNS OF A TORNADO
Strong, persistent rotation in the base of a cloud.
Whirling dust or debris on the ground under a cloud base – tornadoes sometimes have no visible funnel
Hail or heavy rain followed by dead calm or a fast, intense wind shift. Many tornadoes, especially in Virginia, are wrapped in heavy precipitation and can't be seen.
Loud, continuous roar or rumble, which doesn't fade in a few seconds like thunder.
If it's night, look for small, bright, blue-green to white flashes at ground level (as opposed to silvery lightning up in the clouds). These lights are power lines being snapped by very strong wind, maybe a tornado.
Persistent lowering of the cloud base.
WHERE SHOULD I GO?
If at home, go to a basement or storm cellar, away from windows. If neither a basement or storm cellar is available, find shelter under a piece of sturdy furniture such as a work bench or heavy table and hold on to it. Use arms to protect head and neck.