APPLETON - It's cold and windy. Not ideal conditions for a tornado, but often times it isn't the tornado itself that poses the biggest threat.
"Severe thunderstorms can produce damage as bad as that from a tornado," said National Weather Service meteorologist Jeff Last.
It was just seven months ago when Appleton residents found that out first hand. A major thunderstorm rolled through, knocking down trees and power all over the city.
"People had damaged roofs, they had broken windows, people lost power for three days in some areas. It wasn't a tornado but when people looked at the damage they were amazed because it looked like an EF-0 had come through," said Outagamie County Emergency Management Director Christina Muller.
Even on days like today, gusty winds can send lose debris flying, causing damage and injuries. That's why emergency management officials recommend keeping a weather radio close by. To stay on top of the storm.
"We do listen for them and we do follow them, my husband is very big on heading to the basement when we need to. When we hear the sirens," said Julie Martin of Darboy.
A weather radio is just one part of an emergency kit to keep handy in case of severe weather. But it's also the first line of defense against a threatening storm.
"You can never be too careful especially with all the damage that happened in the Midwest just this weekend," said David Casper of Oshkosh.
Damage that can happen in the blink of an eye. Waiting to seek shelter could be a costly mistake.
"That's what hurts and kills people, it's the glass, the flying debris, the wood and that's why we really encourage people to take shelter," said Muller.
Because being prepared can be a life-saving decision.
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