Updated: Monday, 20 Apr 2009, 9:35 AM EDT
Published : Friday, 30 Mar 2001, 4:45 PM EST
West Michigan regularily sees violent thunderstorms producing strong winds, large hail, lightning and tornados.
Do you remember May 31, 1998, when straight line winds caused damage from the lakeshore through Kent County? A series of thunderstorms created a rare weather event -- a derecho. These winds were powerful enough to knock down buildings, uproot trees, and overturn recreational vehicles.
Early detection of these thunderstorms gave people enough time to seek shelter. It serves as a dangerous reminder that severe thunderstorms should be treated with respect.
First know the difference between a thunderstorm warning and a thunderstorm watch.
Even the gentlest of thunderstorms can change quickly into something larger and more deadly. So be prepared to take action.
Like a home fire drill, a severe weather drill is an important part of your family's safety. Make sure you're prepared for the worst.