Important:A “Watch” generally means that severe weather could develop whereas a “Warning” means that the severe weather has been confirmed.
Logic:A weather radio can provide advance warning of severe weather events which will help to avoid panic situations.
Although Regions Center was constructed to withstand high winds and other severe weather, there are a number of weather events historically common to this area which can pose a threat to the property and the safety of its occupants, the names and definitions of which are:
- Severe Thunderstorm - A strong thunderstorm with wind gusts in excess of 58 mph and/or hail with a diameter of 3/4" or more. A thunderstorm with winds greater than 39 mph and/or hail greater than 1/4" inch is defined as approaching severe.
- Tornado - A violent rotating column of air, in contact with the ground, pendant from a cumulonimbus cloud. A tornado does not require the visible presence of a funnel cloud. It has a typical width of tens to hundreds of feet and a lifespan of minutes to hours.
- Winter Storm - A heavy snow and/or ice event. A snow accumulation of more than 6 inches in 12 hrs or more than 12 inches in 24 hrs. and/or liquid rain falling and freezing on contact with cold objects creating ice build-ups of 1/4th inch or more that can cause severe damage and hazards. This event can include the re-freezing of liquid on roads and bridges into so-called "black ice".
Weather Service Alerts
The names and definitions of the various "watches" and "warnings" that are issued by the National Weather Service in response to above listed weather events are:
- Severe Thunderstorm Watch - Issued when conditions are favorable for the development of severe thunderstorms in and close to a defined area.
- Severe Thunderstorm Warning - Issued when thunderstorms are present in the area and are expected to have wind gusts to 58 mph or above or hail 3/4 inch or more in diameter.
- Tornado Watch - Forecast issued well in advance to alert the public of the possibility of a tornado. The occurrence, location and timing may still be uncertain.
- Tornado Warning - Issued when there is likelihood of a tornado within the given area based on radar or actual sighting. It is usually accompanied by conditions indicated for Severe Thunderstorm Warning.
- Winter Storm Watch - A significant winter storm may affect the area, but its occurrence, location and timing are still uncertain. A winter storm watch is issued to provide 12 to 36 hours notice of the possibility of severe winter weather. A watch will often be issued when neither the path of a developing winter storm nor the consequences of the weather event are as yet well defined. Ideally, the winter storm watch will eventually be upgraded to a warning when the nature and location of the developing weather event becomes more apparent. A winter storm watch is intended to provide enough lead time so those who need to set plans in motion can do so.
Winter Storm Warning - Issued when 7 or more inches of snow or sleet is expected in the next 24 hours, or 1/2 inch or more of accretion of freezing rain is expected. A warning is used for winter weather conditions posing a threat to life and property.
Tips and Procedures
- Advance knowledge of impending severe weather is key, so it is recommended that all tenants maintain a weather radio, with battery back-up, of the type that activates automatically whenever the National Weather Service issues any of the above warnings or watches. This radio is best placed at a central location where reliable employees are always present, such as the reception desk. A weather radio will also be monitored at the Atrium security console by the on-duty officer.
- If life threatening weather is imminent, an outside evacuation would increase the likelihood of injury, so it is recommended that tenants instead take shelter in the interior areas of their office space or of their floor, such as interior offices or halls not near windows, public restrooms, public corridors, and stairwells.
- In some instances, such as very high winds causing window breakage, tenants may find it necessary to evacuate to a safer area of the property, in which case you should follow the stairwells all the way to the basement level and assemble in the service corridor and the Wheless Auditorium. Do not enter or cross the atrium to get to the basement level - use only the stairwells.
- Property management will make the following announcement over the public address system when the National Weather Service issues a severe weather warning for Downtown Shreveport:
MAY I HAVE YOUR ATTENTION. MAY I HAVE YOUR ATTENTION PLEASE. A SEVERE WEATHER WARNING HAS BEEN ISSUED FOR THIS AREA. A SEVERE WEATHER WARNING TORNADO WARNING HAS BEEN ISSUED FOR THIS AREA. PLEASE TAKE ALL APPROPRIATE SAFETY ACTIONS AT THIS TIME.
- Stay away from windows, glass doors and outside walls - especially during storms with hail, high winds, or possible tornadoes. The exterior windows are rated to withstand 100 mph winds, but not the debris, rocks, etc. that is often blown from the roofs of other nearby buildings.
- Stow away important papers, files, and small items if there is the possibility of exterior window breakage from high winds.
- Many times, during winter storms with icing, the roof of the Parking Garage will freeze over making it unsafe for vehicles and pedestrians. Property management will close the garage roof level until conditions are again safe for parking. Do not attempt to park on the garage roof during icing. Exercise caution when walking of icy steps, ramps, sidewalks and streets.
- Regions Center will remain open during winter storms, but tenants are encouraged to make individual decisions as whether to remain open. When making this decision, consider the icing conditions at the property, such as in the garage, or on the sidewalks around the property, and also the icing conditions on the public roads and bridges that employees will encounter.
- Even though roads and bridges may be clear during the day, consider closing early to avoid the icing that sometimes occurs later in the day as temperatures drop below freezing.