Be prepared for bad weather before it hits

March 25-31 is Severe Weather Awareness Week. If you have lived in Ohio for more than a week, then you know the weather here is unpredictable and can change at a moment’s notice. If you aren’t well-prepared and well-educated on what to do during severe weather, the results could be disastrous. Here are some tips and information to help keep you and your family safe.

Severe weather in Ohio can be anything from thunderstorms and tornados, to flash flooding and hail. In 2011, 26 people died from lightning strikes in the U.S. While lightning fatalities have decreased during the past 30 years because of education and awareness, lightning still is one of the top three storm-related killers. Lightning travels about 224,000 mph. That’s 3,700 miles per second. The heat produced by a bolt of lightning can reach 54,000 degrees. The safest place to be during a thunderstorm is indoors. All 26 fatalities in 2011 occurred outside. If you can hear thunder, you are within striking distance. The sound of thunder travels one mile every 5 seconds. Count the seconds between the flash of lightning you see and the crack of thunder you hear and divide by 5. This gives you the number of miles the lightning is from you.

If someone is struck by lightning, call 911. Lightning strike victims are not electrically charged and are safe to touch. Knowing CPR and first aid greatly can increase a victim’s chance of survival.

A tornado watch means tornados are possible given the current weather conditions. A tornado warning means a tornado has been sighted, and you immediately should take shelter.

Tornados are violent storms born of powerful thunderstorms. Every year, they cause millions of dollars in damage and unfortunate loss of life. Thanks to advances in Doppler Radar technology and early warning systems from the National Weather Service we now have earlier warnings than we ever have had. One of those warning systems is the tornado siren; it is tested every Wednesday at noon to ensure it functions properly in case of a tornado. If you hear this siren during bad weather, it’s time to seek shelter. Tornadoes start as funnel clouds in the sky with wind speeds up to 300 mph. That funnel cloud becomes a tornado when it touches the ground. There is no rhyme or reason to a tornados path. It can destroy one home while leaving another untouched. If there is a tornado in your area, you immediately should seek shelter in a place without windows, such as a basement or bathroom, until the storm passes.

You can visit the Fairfield County EMA website for more information on disaster preparedness and register to receive alerts to your home or mobile phone or email via the EMA’s Alert Fairfield County Program. You will find all of the information you need to sign up at www.fairfieldema. com, as well as an FAQ section and additional helpful links.

Always have a disaster plan in place and practice it with your family. A supply of bottled water and nonperishable food is a good idea, as well. Remember: Being prepared is the key to survival.

More Safety Info:

  1. Fire chief reminds to be prepared for severe weather
  2. WHAT OTHERS SAY: Prepare and plan for severe weather
  3. Will County Board urges severe weather preparedness
  4. Severe Weather Preparedness Week in Illinois – WREX
  5. Severe weather continues to move in from Texas

 

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