For most of us it was just heavy rain and some wind Monday. As YNN's Sarah Blazonis reports, it's important to know the difference between a watch and warning, and how you can be prepared.
SYRACUSE, N.Y. -- Being prepared for bad weather is part of living in Central New York and the Southern Tier. The weather can even include conditions you may not even expect in this part of the country.
On Monday, tornado watches were issued for counties statewide.
"A watch is, you want to take some action, because there is the possibility, but it's not time to go into panic mode because it just means that there's a possibility for it to happen, not that it's completely imminent," explained Courtney Furtado, YNN Meteorologist.
Susan Pope, the Red Cross Disaster Program Manager, added, "Keep an eye on the weather, find out where safe places are, and let family members know what the safe places are for the family and where people are going to be congregating."
As for outside your home, when watches are issued it's a good idea to bring in trash cans, lawn furniture, or anything else the wind can pick up and use to damage your property or someone else's.
Other steps you could take include removing dead or decaying limbs from trees, installing shutters on your windows, or reinforcing garages or glass doors. Those are steps that are going to take a little more time, but you might be grateful for them when the more serious alerts are issued.
"Especially with the tornado warnings, it hasn't always been spotted, and sometimes it's not always confirmed, but it means that there's a high probability," said Furtado. "So it's definitely when you want to take action."
That action includes taking shelter.
Pope said, "A basement is a good idea, a brick-built building. Stay outside of buildings that could be picked up by a tornado, and a tornado will pick up a trailer no problem."
No matter the alert, pay attention to the news or NOAA Weather Radio, and the weather itself to make sure you know what is happening your area.
For more safety tips and precautionary measures, head to www.redcross.org.