UPDATE: Tornado watch issued for North Texas until Wednesday evening, according to the NWS

An updated tornado watch was issued by the National Weather Service on Wednesday at 12:39 p.m. in effect until 8 p.m. The watch is for Anderson, Bell, Bosque, Collin, Comanche, Coryell, Dallas, Delta, Denton, Eastland, Ellis, Erath, Falls, Fannin, Freestone, Grayson, Hamilton, Henderson, Hill, Hood, Hopkins, Hunt, Johnson, Kaufman, Lamar, Lampasas, Limestone, McLennan, Mills, Navarro, Parker, Rains, Rockwall, Somervell, Tarrant and Van Zandt counties.

This watch is in effect until 8 p.m.

Ways to protect yourself during a tornado

The NWS emphasizes the importance of acting quickly to stay safe during a tornado. Keep yourself informed about tornado watches and warnings by staying connected to local news or a NOAA Weather Radio.

• If you are indoors: In the event of a tornado warning, seek shelter in your basement, safe room, or an interior room without windows. If possible, bring your pets along with you.

• If you are at your workplace or school: Follow your tornado drill protocol and make your way to the designated tornado shelter area. Maintain a safe distance from windows and avoid seeking refuge in large open rooms like cafeterias, gymnasiums, or auditoriums.

• If you are outside: In the face of an approaching tornado, find shelter within a sturdy building. Be aware that sheds, storage facilities, mobile homes, and tents are not safe alternatives.

• If you are in a vehicle: It is not safe to be in a vehicle during a tornado. The recommended action is to drive to the nearest shelter. If reaching a safe shelter is not possible, either crouch down in your car and cover your head, or leave your vehicle and seek refuge in a low-lying area like a ditch or ravine.

Do you have an emergency kit ready in case of a tornado?

The Federal Emergency Management Agency recommends keeping the following items in a basic disaster supplies kit:

• Water, one gallon per person for at least three days

• Food, at least a three-day supply

• Cell phone with chargers and a backup battery

• Battery-powered or hand-crank radio

• Flashlight

• First-aid kit

• Whistle

• Dust mask to filter contaminated air

• Plastic sheeting and duct tape, for shelter purposes

• Moist towelettes, garbage bags, and plastic ties

• Manual can opener for food

• Local maps

Source: The National Weather Service