This week the summer storms have been particularly active. Severe weather is part of everyday life for eastern Iowans and we know not to panic when storms quickly crop up.

But there are five strategic rules of engagement when you're caught outdoors and dealing with dangerous storms.

1. Downloaded the APP: The KRNA Mobile App has weather features, but for my money, (and they're both free) get the CBS2/FOX 28 Weather App for mobile devices and activate their storm warning alerts. Notifications will let you know when conditions change and when you'll need to take cover.

2. Follow CBS2/FOX 28 News on Facebook, because meteorologist Terry Swails is at his best with calm and comprehensive coverage that is spot-on. Yes, all the local TV stations use Facebook live for weather emergencies, but I think Terry's reports are superior.

3. Get Off The Road. Unless you're a Bill Paxton/Helen Hunt Professional Storm Chaser do you really NEED to be heading into the eye of a storm? The groceries won' spoil, the hair appointment can wait. And it's REALLY not safe to be trying to capture video of a storm while driving..and it is against the law, too.

4. SCAN and PLAN: It really pays off if storms strike while you're camping, hiking, golfing or attending an outdoor festival, fair or concert. Scan the (IRL) western horizon along with your electronic media to plan ahead in case the weather changes.

5. DITCH YOUR PRIDE: If you are in your car and see an oncoming tornado, you have a better chance of survival if you stop, get out and dive into a ditch. Be sure to cover your head and stay as low to the ground as you can get. Hug the dirt like you're suckling on Mother Earth. A tornado can pick up and toss a compact car like it's a Matchbox toy. You don't want to be the crash test dummy in that situation.


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