Severe Weather Safety

The City of Derby does not provide public storm shelters. The City discontinued its public storm shelter program in early 2022 because of the inability to recruit enough volunteers to ensure that shelters would be able to be opened and staffed for operation during a tornado event.

Planning Ahead

During tornados and severe weather, the City of Derby encourages all residents to have an emergency plan, which should first and foremost focus on identifying a safe location for sheltering in place. Residents should develop a plan for severe weather, and plan ahead rather than waiting to take action when severe conditions are in the forecast. Practice this plan with members of your household, and be prepared to activate it at any time. While spring and early summer are traditionally the most active months for large, supercell tornados, severe weather may strike at any time throughout the year.

Any time severe weather threatens it is helpful to gather things such as medications, insurance documents, clothing, bedding, bottled water and non-perishable food. Also consider making plans for your pets' safety, including gathering food and a leash or kennel.

Residents are encouraged to stay alert for changing weather conditions and have multiple ways to stay informed, including a NOAA weather radio, local media outlets and weather alerts, mobile device notifications, and listening for outdoor warning devices. 

Shelter in Place

Sheltering in place is considered to be a best practice during most types of severe weather, as attempting to travel to another location to take shelter can leave individuals exposed to dangerous or deadly weather conditions. Shelter-in-Place plans should include identifying a safe location within your home, business or neighborhood where you can take shelter in a matter of seconds. 

It is helpful to identify a location on the lowest level of the building and in a small, central room without windows. Depending on your setup, it may be helpful to shelter under a large, heavy piece of furniture such as a desk or table, in a bathtub or shower unit, or under a mattress. 

Seeking Shelter

Those without adequate shelter in their home, or residents living in mobile or manufactured homes, should plan ahead when severe weather is forecast and communicate directly with friends, neighbors, area churches, or other entities with whom you could take shelter. 

If you plan to leave your home to take shelter, it is important to plan ahead and to leave with plenty of time to arrive at your destination prior to the arrival of severe weather. Don't get stuck traveling during severe weather events, as a vehicle is one of the most dangerous places you can be in those conditions.

If you are in a mobile home or vehicle and are unable to safely reach an alternative shelter before the storm arrives, an outside ditch or low-lying area may be the safest available location in that moment. In that location, get as low as possible to the ground and use your hands and arms to cover your head and neck to protect it from flying debris. Stay alert for changing conditions throughout the storm, and move quickly if needed to avoid other hazards such as flash floods or rising water.

Additional Resources for Planning and Preparation