Severe weather preparedness important

MARCH 3-9 has been declared Spring Severe Weather Awareness Week in Ohio by Gov. John Kasich, who issued a proclamation asking Ohio citizens to know the importance of having disaster and communication plans, prepare emergency kits and practice safety disaster drills to better protect themselves from spring and summer natural disasters and home emergencies.

The Governor called upon state and local governments, emergency managers, educators and the media to assist the Ohio Committee for Severe Weather Awareness in informing Ohioans on the safety measures needed to being prepared before disaster strikes. He also encourages Ohioans to practice their safety plans and drills during the annual Statewide Tornado Drill scheduled for Wednesday, March 6, at 9:50 a.m.

The Ohio Committee for Severe Weather Awareness (OCSWA) is proud to promote Ohio’s Spring Severe Weather Awareness Week and National Severe Weather Preparedness Week March 3-9. As proclaimed by Governor Kasich, both weather safety campaigns encourages all citizens to prepare for, protect against, respond to, recover from, and mitigate all hazards, especially severe weather.

“Ohio’s weather is forever changing. We can have temperatures below freezing one day then 50 degrees with strong winds and thunderstorms the next,” said Nancy Dragani, executive director of the Ohio Emergency Management Agency “When it comes to the weather, Ohioans are learning to be prepared for anything.”

As part of a coordinated effort with OCSWA, Ohio will participate in the state wide tornado drill and test its Emergency Alert System on Wednesday, March 6, at 9:50 a.m. During this time, many Ohio counties will sound their outdoor warning sirens. Schools, businesses, and households are encouraged to practice their drills and emergency plans.

During the weather safety campaign, OCSWA encourages Ohioans to take necessary safety measures to weather future storms and Be a Force of Nature: Know Your Risk an Know the Weather Terms.

A tornado warning is issued by the NWS when a tornado has been detected by Doppler radar or sighted by storm spotters. If a tornado warning is issued for your area, do not stop to take pictures or shoot video. Seek shelter immediately. Many Ohio counties have outdoor warning sirens that sound during storm warnings. Continue to listen to your NOAA Weather Radio or TV or radio newscast for up-to-date weather information.

Pledge to prepare and take action and purchase a NOAA Weather Radio and check to see if your cell phone is equipped to receive Wireless Emergency Alerts. Download disaster preparedness apps to your smartphone. The Insurance Information System and FEMA’s Ready Campaign offers apps to download for use before, during and after emergencies or disasters. Visit for additional information and to download apps.

The Ohio Committee for Severe Weather Awareness is comprised of 14 agencies and organizations that are dedicated in educating Ohioans about the natural disasters that typically affect the state, and how to plan and prepare for severe weather incidents and home emergencies before they happen.