SOUTHERN COLORADO, Colo. - Severe weather season is officially underway. This week, southern Colorado was rocked by severe weather.
Powerful gusts, lightning and large hail are all factors that have the potential to damage life and property. Southern Colorado is all too familiar with these conditions.
"I live a couple blocks from downtown, and all the tops of our roofs were completely destroyed," said Colorado Springs resident Mike Newman.
Mike Newman has nearly seen it all: severe thunderstorms and large hail, typically summer-time factors.
"It completely made our parking lot like a lake. It was crazy, getting up to our doors. It was ridiculous," added Newman.
Newman, like so many, knows the importance of staying safe and protected in a thunderstorm.
Remember, when thunder roars - go indoors. Get inside a safe building or a metal-topped car. Stay in that shelter for thirty minutes after the last rumble of thunder. Nowhere outside is safe, but if you don't have shelter nearby, remember to get off high elevation areas. Don't lie on the ground. Get away from water, and don't get under a tree.
Here are a few other reminders. Once inside, avoid windows and doors. Also, stay off of corded phones, computers and any other objects that conduct electricity.
It's a busy season for emergency managers.
"You need to know what your local risk is, you need to make a plan to deal with that local risk and then you need to put together your supplies to be ready for that," said Robin Adair with El Paso County Office of Emergency Management.
Adair reminds people to not only be weather aware in lightning storms, but in cases of flash flooding, too.
"The biggest part of the plan is the communications part of the plan. How are you going to get in touch with your family members, where is everybody supposed to go, who are they supposed to get in touch with, what are you going to do?" asked Adair.
"You know, stay inside! It's the best thing you can do. You can't stop the weather, right?" commented Newman.
These are just a few of many tips to keep you and your family safe. Remember to track the storms by downloading our StormTracker 13 weather app. Through it, you can view Live HD DOppler, current watches and warnings and our seven day forecast.