How to handle severe weather if caught by surprise while shopping

(Photo: WKRN)

LEBANON, Tenn. (WKRN) – Many people know what to do while at home during a severe weather emergency, but what if you’re out shopping at a mall?

News 2 Meteorologist Jeff Morrow spent some time at Lebanon Premium Outlets to find out if shoppers were prepared for storms.

This mall is storm ready, and it’s the first of all 209 Simon Centers Properties to achieve that status from the National Weather Service.

(Photo: WKRN)
(Photo: WKRN)

Morrow spoke with General Manager Desiree Mosiman to ask how the mall alerts shoppers when a storm is in the area.

“We have an automated line that allows us to call all of our retailers and let them know what’s coming so they can prepare for it, and we also have a speaker system to let our customers know immediately what’s happening [and] if it’s necessary to leave the center or if it’s safe to stay or if they can shelter in place, in which case we can provide them the necessary shelter,” explained Mosiman.

So what do you do if you’re shopping and severe weather strikes? If you’re outside, go immediately inside. D don’t go to your car. And if you’re inside a store, ask to use their back spaces.

If you are caught in the food court when a storm hits, find a hallway or bathroom to wait it out.

The mall will also open its office area for shelter, just be sure to stay away from any windows.

Click here to view additional coverage of our News 2 StormTracker: Family Safety Day reports.