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What to do, where to seek shelter when the threat of severe weather looms.

Tornado season in Texas can be frightening.

The Lone Star State is hit with an average of 132 tornadoes each year with about 25 of those happening in North Texas.

In 2019, North Texans experienced an unsettling severe weather pattern when 52 twisters were recorded.

Erath County is no stranger to severe weather either.

An EF1 tornado tore through the area in 2016, leaving behind a large swath of damage but, thankfully, no injuries

With the arrival of tornado season, I spoke with city officials about designated safe places where residents can take shelter when severe weather strikes.


The Stephenville Public Library is the city’s primary tornado shelter and will open if the need arises, Erath County emergency management coordinator Chris Brooks told Beneath the Surface News

If seeking shelter away from your home or work isn’t an option, residents should follow these tips from Stephenville Fire Marshal Gregg Schrumpf.

“Stay away from windows, doors and outside walls,” Schrumpf said. “Try taking cover in a bathroom or inside room without windows.”

He also said covering yourself with a mattress while lying in a bathtub will protect you from falling debris.

Residents should also sign up to receive Nixle alerts on their phones by going to the city’s website at or texting 76401 to 888777.

“If Stephenville is under the threat of any kind of severe weather, Nixle will issue an alert and those alerts can be shared with friends and family,” Schrumpf said.

The city’s storm sirens will also alert people who are outdoors when the threat of severe weather strikes.

“The sirens are not made to be heard when people are inside their homes watching TV. They will not hear it,” Schrumpf said. “That’s why it’s so important to sign up for the alerts.”


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