Severe Weather Awareness Week – March 22-28

Never mind the seasons. In Ohio, it is best to be prepared for all weather hazards almost all year round. The last two months seemed a constant up-and-down; back-and-forth.  

“As we have seen, especially this winter, we need to know the weather hazards that can impact our state and how to prepare and protect ourselves from severe weather,” said Ohio Emergency Management Agency) Executive Director Sima Merick. “Ohio’s Severe Weather Awareness Week is an ideal time to learn about severe weather preparedness, and get ready.” 

“Every minute counts in a disaster. Plan now so you’re prepared,” said Merick. “Make emergency plans for the different hazards that can impact your household. Practice tornado and fire drills. Make emergency supply kits for your home or for your car, in case you need to evacuate. Additionally, consider purchasing flood insurance.” 

As part of Severe Weather Awareness Week, March 22-28, the Ohio Emergency Management Agency offers suggestions for what Ohioans can do, which include: 

• Prepare for weather and home emergencies: Homes, schools and businesses should update their safety/communications plans. Practice tornado and fire drills. Replenish supplies in emergency kits. Be informed – know the risks about the different disasters and hazards that can affect families where they live, work and go to school. Include children in emergency planning. 

• Know Ohio’s weather hazards: Ohio’s spring and summer weather hazards include tornadoes, thunderstorms, floods, and even snowstorms through early spring. Visit www.weathersafety.ohio.gov to view current Ohio weather and to review severe weather safety and preparedness information. 

• Know the difference between storm watches and warnings: Ensure that everyone knows the difference between a Tornado Watch and a Tornado Warning. A tornado watch means conditions are favorable for the development of tornadoes. A tornado warning is issued when a tornado is imminent or occurring. If a tornado warning is issued for your area, do not stop to take photos or shoot video. Seek safe shelter immediately. 

During tornado drills or actual tornado warnings, remember to DUCK! 

D – Go DOWN to the lowest level, stay away from windows 

U – Get UNDER something (such as a basement staircase or heavy table or desk) 

C – COVER your head 

K – KEEP in shelter until the storm has passed 

Many Ohio counties have outdoor warning sirens that sound during severe storm and tornado warnings. During storm watches or warnings, listen to your NOAA Weather Radio or your local news for current weather conditions and information. 

People also receive notification of severe weather and other emergencies through their cellphones and mobile devices. Hamilton County’s alert system is called Alert Hamilton County. Sign up at www.alerthc.org.