(WCMH) — When the possibility of severe storms is high, it’s important to have a safety plan in place. Part of staying prepared is knowing the difference between a tornado watch and a tornado warning.

A watch means that the conditions in our atmosphere are favorable for severe weather and you still have time to prepare.

But as soon as a tornado warning is issued, it’s time to take cover inside of a sturdy structure because severe weather is immediate or actively occurring. In the case of a tornado, that means that either rotation has been indicated on radar or a trained spotter has seen a tornado.

The safest place to be during a tornado is in a basement or an underground shelter if possible. 

If you don’t have an underground option available, the safest place to be is in the most interior room on the lowest floor. 

This room is often a bathroom or closet, and should be away from windows allowing you to put as much space as possible between you and the outside. 

If you live in a manufactured or mobile home, it is important to find another option so that you can stay safe.

Lastly, vigilantly monitor your local weather team’s coverage, if possible. Your local team will have the latest updates and any possible emergency alerts.