Red Cross Urges Tennessee Residents to Prepare for Severe Weather

Mar 23, 2023 at 06:21 pm by WGNS News

TENNESSEE - The National Weather Service has issued an update on the potential for strong to severe thunderstorms late Friday night, as a line of showers and thunderstorms develop along a cold front approaching Tennessee from the northwest. The area of impact includes all of West and Middle Tennessee, especially for locations along and west of the I-65 Corridor, with potential to affect all of the Tennessee Region.

Specifically in the Murfreesboro area, meteorologist say there is only a 10% chance of rain during the day on Friday with wind gusts as high as 25-miles-per-hour. On Friday at midnight and into Sunday, the chance of rain will grow to 90% in Rutherford County. Winds gusts could potentially reach 35-miles-per-hour.  On Sunday in Rutherford County, the chance of precipitation is at 80% with wind gusts as high as 30 MPH.


PREPARE FOR THUNDERSTORMS: With the possibility of severe weather, including the enhanced risk of tornadoes, the American Red Cross urges all Tennesseans in the path of this line of storms to prepare now. Stay weather aware and listen to WGNS news or a NOAA Weather Radio for emergency updates.

Strong to damaging straight-line winds are expected in parts of West and Middle Tennessee. Large hail and isolated tornadoes can not be ruled out. Localized brief heavy downpours will be possible, but flash flood threat is generally low. The main event with this severe weather pattern is expected to remain well to our south. Red Cross disaster workers are on standby to help neighbors in need affected by the storms.


• If you can hear thunder, you are close enough to be in danger from lightning. If thunder roars, go indoors! The National Weather Service recommends staying inside for at least 30 minutes after the last thunderclap.

• If a severe thunderstorm warning is issued, take shelter in a substantial building or in a vehicle with the windows closed. Get out of mobile homes that can blow over in high winds.

• Postpone outdoor activities if thunderstorms are likely to occur. Many people struck by lightning are not in the area where rain is occurring.

• Avoid electrical equipment and telephones. Use battery-powered TVs and radios instead.

• Shutter windows and close outside doors securely. Keep away from windows.

• Do not take a bath, shower or use plumbing.

• If you are driving, try to safely exit the roadway and park. Stay in the vehicle and turn on the emergency flashers until the heavy rain ends. Avoid touching metal or other surfaces that conduct electricity in and outside the vehicle.

• If you are outside and cannot reach a safe building, avoid high ground; water; tall, isolated trees; and metal objects such as fences or bleachers. Picnic shelters, dugouts and sheds are NOT safe.

• Never drive through a flooded roadway. You cannot predict how deep the water may be.

• Stay away from storm-damaged areas to keep from putting yourself at risk from the effects of severe thunderstorms.

• Continue to listen to a NOAA Weather Radio or to local radio and television stations for updated information or instructions, as access to roads or some parts of the community may be blocked.

• Help people who may require special assistance, such as infants, children and the elderly or disabled.

• Stay away from downed power lines and report them immediately.


• Identify a safe place in your home where household members and pets will gather during a tornado: a basement, storm cellar or an interior room on the lowest floor with no windows.

• In a high-rise building, pick a hallway in the center of the building. You may not have enough time to go to the lowest floor.

• In a mobile home, choose a safe place in a nearby sturdy building. If your mobile home park has a designated shelter, make it your safe place. No mobile home, however it is configured, is safe in a tornado.

• If you are under a tornado warning, find safe shelter right away.

• Stay away from windows, doors, and outside walls.

• Do not get under an overpass or bridge. You’re safer in a low, flat location.

• Watch out for flying debris that can cause injury or death.

• Use your arms to protect your head and neck. 

RED CROSS EMERGENCY APP - Download the free bilingual Red Cross Emergency App (EnglishSpanish) to access expert advice on how to prepare and respond to severe weather and features real-time local alerts for severe weather and hazards and includes a map with local Red Cross shelters. Text GETEMERGENCY to 90999 or search “Red Cross Emergency” in the Apple App Store or Google Play Store. 

For additional information about how to prepare for, respond to and recover from severe weather, visit

Find out how you can serve in your community by searching for current volunteer opportunities. The American Red Cross provides FREE disaster training for all volunteers. Trainings are both online and in-person depending on the course. To find out more about these training opportunities please contact your local Red Cross office. 

About the American Red Cross: The American Red Cross shelters, feeds and provides comfort to victims of disasters; supplies about 40% of the nation's blood; teaches skills that save lives; distributes international humanitarian aid; and supports veterans, military members, and their families. The Red Cross is a nonprofit organization that depends on volunteers and the generosity of the American public to deliver its mission. For more information, please visit or, or visit us on Twitter at @RedCrossTN. The American Red Cross Tennessee Region serves all 95 counties in Tennessee, Crittenden County in Arkansas and Desoto and Tunica counties in Mississippi. The Tennessee Region – part of a nationwide network of locally supported chapters - is comprised of the following eight Red Cross chapters: East Tennessee, Heart of Tennessee, Mid-South, Mid-West Tennessee, Nashville Area, Southeast Tennessee, Northeast Tennessee and Tennessee River.


Additional WGNS News Headlines:


Sections: News Smyrna News