Thomas shares experience chasing storms and dreams

Kids demonstrate a safe position to take if sheltering from a tornado during meteorologist Meaghan Thomas's May 20 visit to the North Shelby Library. (Reporter Photo / Molly Davidson)

Kids demonstrate a safe position to take if sheltering from a tornado during meteorologist Meaghan Thomas’s May 20 visit to the North Shelby Library. (Reporter Photo / Molly Davidson)

By MOLLY DAVIDSON / Staff Writer

NORTH SHELBY—Dream big, work hard and always stay weather safe was the message Meaghan Thomas, weekend meteorologist at ABC 33/40, told kids at the North Shelby Library on May 20.

Thomas stopped by the library for the Homeschool Hangout program and shared fun weather science facts, important safety tips and her own experiences in the field.

Alabama is currently in tornado season, which peaks from March through May. Thomas explained how tornadoes form and key indicators, such as strong thunder storms and funnel clouds.

“If you know how things form, you can save yourself and be safe,” Thomas said.

Thomas explained the basics of tornado safety, including taking shelter in the interior room of a house and protecting your head.

“Most deaths occur due to head injuries during a tornado,” Thomas said. “Get to an interior room of your home (or) get to your basement, put your helmet on… the more walls you can put between you and the storm, the better.”

Families should also devise a plan and pack a safety kit, Thomas encouraged. The safety kit should include any necessary medications, important documents, first aid tools and survival essentials, such as food and water. Tornadoes often occur between the hours of 11 a.m. and 8 p.m., and without a plan, families can get caught off guard, Thomas cautioned.

“You need to have a plan because, typically, we are not sitting at home during these hours,” Thomas said.

Thomas also discussed her job as a meteorologist, her dream job since age 11.

“I wanted to be a meteorologist since I was 11 years old,” Thomas said. “I knew exactly what I wanted to do.”

Thomas encouraged the kids to pursue their dreams and work hard to accomplish their goals, no matter what they are.

“If I can leave a room and let each child know they have the potential and they can do anything, it’s super rewarding,” Thomas said.