Severe Weather in Nebraska

Severe weather and tacos. Finally! A great, yummy visual to remember the difference between watches and warnings. Has anyone else seen this analogy? Here’s how it goes. A Severe Weather Watch in taco terms means that you have the ingredients to make a taco. They’re all laid out on the table, sitting there, waiting. The weather conditions are right to produce severe weather.  Then, a Severe Weather Warning means that the prepped taco ingredients have been put together and we’re having tacos, right now. There is active severe weather happening such as a thunderstorm, hail, flash flood, high wind, and/or tornado. Make sense now?

It’s summer in Nebraska when severe weather is always a possibility. Each year, many people are killed or seriously injured by tornadoes and severe thunderstorms. Some did not hear the warning; others heard the warning but did not believe it would happen to them. The following tips, combined with timely severe weather watches and warnings, may save your life. If you hear a warning or see threatening skies, only YOU can make the decision to seek safety. This could be the most important decision you will ever make. (

Practice Your Plan

  • Know the risk for the area in which you live or visit. National Weather Service (NWS) warnings identify locations in the path of approaching severe weather.
  • Have a Public Alert™ certified NOAA Weather Radio and battery backup to receive warnings.
  • Discuss thunderstorm safety with all members of your household.
  • NWS watches and warnings are available at Select and bookmark your local office.
  • Keep in mind that even though the weather may be calm at the time a Tornado or Severe Thunderstorm Watch or Warning is issued for your area, conditions can rapidly change and become life threatening. Always heed warnings even if warnings issued for your area in the past did not result in severe weather. Don’t gamble with your life.
  • Tornadoes and severe thunderstorms can and do occur at any location, anytime of day or night, and any time of year given the right atmospheric conditions.
  • Tune into your favorite radio or television weather information source for severe weather watch and warning information.
  • If severe weather threatens, check on people who are elderly, very young, or physically or mentally disabled.
  • Having a safe room in your home or small business can help provide “near-absolute protection” for you and those around you from injury or death caused by extreme winds.
  • Keep enough supplies in your home to meet your needs for at least 3 days. Assemble an emergency supply kit with items you may need if evacuated. Store these supplies in sturdy, easy- to-carry containers, such as backpacks or duffle bags. Keep important family documents in a waterproof container. Keep a smaller emergency supply kit in your vehicle. Here’s a suggested list of Emergency Home Supplies

Four Corners Health Department will be at the county fairs in our area in July and August! You can find other weather-related preparedness ideas and tips at our booth and even sign up for your chance to win an official NOAA weather radio to keep you alert and safe during severe weather.

Contact Four Corners at 402-362-2621 or 877-337-3573 or email at You can follow us on Facebook at Four Corners Health Department. Find @FC_HealthDept on Twitter and Instagram!