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Tornado siren and alert drill scheduled for Wednesday morning at 9:50 AM as part of statewide drill

Households encouraged to review emergency plans as part of Spring Severe Weather Awareness week
Tornado sirens
Posted at 9:25 AM, Mar 22, 2023
and last updated 2023-03-22 09:30:28-04

Ohio residents may hear tornado sirens or receive a tornado notification Wednesday morning at 9:50 a.m. as part of a statewide tornado drill being conducted during Spring Severe Weather Awareness week.

“Severe weather can impact Ohio at any time of year, so it’s important that residents are prepared for the possibility of a weather emergency,” said Gov. Mike DeWine. “Spring Severe Weather Awareness Week allows Ohioans the opportunity to learn more about severe weather and be prepared before, during, and after a storm.”

DeWine declared March 19-25 Spring Severe Weather Awareness Week and is encouraging all Ohioans to prepare themselves for the severe weather hazards and emergencies that come in the spring and summer.

“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.”

Ohio communities may be participating in the statewide tornado drill to test their emergency and sheltering plans, and counties may use the time to sound and test their outdoor warning sirens and mass notification systems.

Businesses, schools and households are encouraged to practice their tornado drills and emergency plans at this time.

Students in grades 1 through 6 can submit a severe weather poster design until April 21 for the 2023 Ohio Severe Weather Poster Contest. To learn more, and to view the complete contest rules and entry forms, visit the Ohio Committee for Severe Weather Awareness website.

Below are some additional safety and preparedness tips from the Ohio Committee for Severe Weather Awareness:

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 FloodLearn 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.

Alerts and Notifications: Getting weather and emergency information from trusted sources is important. Have multiple means of receiving communications and always get your information from reliable sources such as the National Weather Service, local broadcast radio and television stations, and phone apps from trusted agencies. Other great sources for communications are the Emergency Alert System (EAS) which are messages sent over television and radio channels, Wireless Emergency Alerts (WEA) which are free notifications delivered to mobile devices as part of a public safety system, and a NOAA All-Hazards Weather Radio.

To download a copy of Governor DeWine’s Spring Severe Weather Proclamations, click here or visit the Ohio Committee for Severe Weather Awareness website.

Learn more about how tornadoes form in the News 5 video below:

How tornadoes form

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