Severe Weather Awareness
Residents are urged to make a safety plan for family, friends, neighbors and co-workers. Planning ahead lowers the chance of injury or death in the event severe weather strikes. Visit the Emergency Preparedness page or review Tornado Safety Tips and Severe Thunderstorm Safety Tips for more information on how to stay safe during severe weather events.
Tornadoes develop from severe thunderstorms. They are usually preceded by very heavy rain and/or large hail. A thunderstorm accompanied by hail indicates that the storm has large amounts of energy and may be severe. In general, the larger the hailstones, the more potential there is for damaging winds and/or tornadoes.
The peak tornado season for Ohio is generally April through July. Tornadoes usually occur between 2 PM and 10 PM, but have been know to occur at any hour.
Safety Tips during a severe weather situation or tornado:
Whether practicing a tornado drill or sheltering during a warning, the Ohio Committee for Severe Weather Awareness encourages Ohioans to DUCK!
D - Go DOWN to the lowest level
U - Get UNDER something
C - COVER your head
K - KEEP in shelter until the storm has passed
- Be prepared before a watch or warning is issued. Meet with household members to develop a disaster plan. Conduct regular tornado drills. Review your plan when a tornado watch is issued – don't wait for the watch to become a warning. Learn to turn off the water, gas and electricity at the main switches.
- Despite Doppler radar, tornadoes can sometimes occur without any warning, allowing very little time to act. Know the basics of tornado safety. Know the difference between tornado watches and tornado warnings.
- Tune to one of the following for weather information: NOAA Weather Radio, local/cable television (Ohio News Network or the Weather Channel), or local radio station.
- If you have special needs, register your name and address with your local emergency management agency, police and fire departments before any natural or man-made disaster.
- NOAA Weather Radio has available an alerting tool for people who are deaf or have hearing impairments. Some weather radio receivers can be connected to an existing home security system, much the same as a doorbell, smoke detector or other sensor.
- The safest place during a tornado is a basement. If the building has no basement, go to a small room (a bathroom or closet) on the lowest level of the structure, away from windows and as close to the center of the building as possible.
- Be aware of emergency shelter plans in stores, offices and schools. If no specific shelter has been identified, move to the building's lowest level. Try to avoid areas with large glass windows, large rooms and wide-span roofs such as auditoriums, cafeterias, large hallways or shopping malls.
- Outside, in a car or mobile home, go immediately to the lowest level of a nearby sturdy building. Sturdy buildings are the safest structures to be in when tornadoes threaten. Winds from tornadoes can blow large objects, including cars and mobile homes, hundreds of feet away.
- If there is no building nearby, lie flat in a low spot. Use your arms and hands to protect your head. It is not safe to seek shelter under highway overpasses and bridges.