|COLUMBUS Severe weather can occur at any time of the year and Spring Severe Weather Awareness Week allows Ohioans the opportunity to learn the best ways to be prepared and stay safe during inclement weather, according to a news release from Ohio Committee for Severe Weather Awareness.
In a coordinated effort with the OCSWA), the Ohio Emergency Management Agency, and the National Weather Service, Governor Mike DeWine has proclaimed March 19-25 as Spring Severe Weather Awareness Week and is encouraging all Ohioans to prepare themselves for spring and summer weather hazards and home emergencies.
“Ohio’s weather can often be unpredictable, especially in the spring when temperatures fluctuate between warm and cold which can be a recipe for severe weather, or even tornadoes,” said Ohio Emergency Management Agency Executive Director Sima Merick. “We encourage all Ohioans to make or review an existing emergency plan and be prepared.”
At 9:50 a.m. on Wednesday, March 22, local communities can participate in a statewide tornado drill and test their emergency and sheltering plans. Ohio counties may use this time to sound and test their outdoor warning sirens and mass notification systems. Businesses, schools, and households are also encouraged to practice their tornado drills and emergency plans at this time.
Safety & Preparedness Tips
* Know the Terms:
Tornado Watch – Be Prepared: When conditions are favorable for the development of tornadoes. Be ready to move to a place of safety if the watch is upgraded to a warning or if threatening weather approaches.
Tornado Warning – Take Action: When a tornado is imminent or has been sighted. Warnings indicate impending danger to life and property. Seek safe shelter immediately.
* Prepare for Severe Weather and Home Emergencies: Build a kit and make a plan. This includes having a severe weather kit for home and vehicle and creating an emergency plan/or updating your existing plan
* Be Aware of Hazards in Your Area: Ohio’s weather hazards from early spring into summer include snowmelt and flooding, tornadoes, and thunderstorms. Visit the OCSWA website to learn more about severe weather safety and preparedness.
* Prepare for a Flood: Learn and practice evacuation routes, shelter plans, and flash flood response. Gather supplies, including non-perishable foods, cleaning supplies, and water for several days, in case you must leave immediately or if services are cut off in your area.
* Flooded Roadways: Never attempt to cross a flooded road on foot or in a vehicle. It only takes six inches of water to knock an adult off their feet, one foot of moving water can float a vehicle, and two feet of water can carry away most vehicles including pickup trucks and SUVs. Don’t chance it, find an alternative route! Turn Around Don’t Drown®.
* Outdoor Warning Sirens: Many Ohio counties have outdoor warning sirens that sound when severe weather is imminent. Outdoor warning sirens are designed to be heard outdoors.