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June 06, 2014 04:55 PM

What Can Be Considered A Storm Shelter?

Sioux Falls, SD

Thursday's round of severe weather arrived in Sioux Falls with little warning. It even caught the city's emergency management crews by surprise.

"Normally, we get notification and we know early in the day that there's a weather threat for that day, and this one just, really, kind of came out of nowhere," Emergency Management director Regan Smith said.

Caught off-guard, but not unprepared. Smith and the rest of his staff quickly went to work making people aware of the danger.

"I think there's a real complacency and maybe some myths that Sioux Falls hasn't been affected and it won't be affected, but I think yesterday shows that we can be affected," Smith said.

The sound of the sirens is the most common alert for everyone to take shelter. Yet, sometimes a shelter isn't readily available. For Sioux Falls, there are no designated storm shelters.

"That's kind of an old civil defense remnant where we had those fallout shelters and things like that. There isn't a system of community shelters," Smith said.

Instead, if you're not near your home, Smith says you should find a store located nearby, preferably one that is open 24 hours a day to ensure you can get inside.

Seeking shelter as soon as possible is important during severe weather season because of what Smith says is the unpredictability of storms like what was seen on Thursday.

"In my mind, there's no lack of warning. People just need to be conscious of that, use some good common sense and be ready to react when they receive that warning. Take action," Smith said.

In the same vein as never having too much warning, those with a smartphone are able to download the KELOLAND StormTracker app to check forecasts, get live radar imagery and even receive alerts to severe weather warnings.

Review photos of the storm and damage

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