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Severe weather? Don’t forget to DUCK

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When the statewide tornado drill sounds off at 9:50 a.m. Wednesday, remember to DUCK!
D “” Go DOWN to the lowest level
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
During the statewide drill, Ohio counties will sound and test their outdoor warning sirens. Schools, businesses and households are encouraged to practice their tornado drills and emergency plans.
Know the weather terms
Know the difference between storm watches and storm warnings.
For example, a tornado watch is issued by the National Weather Service when conditions are favorable for the development of tornadoes in and close to the area. During a tornado watch, review tornado safety plans and be prepared to move to a safe place if conditions worsen.
Listen to a National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration Weather Radio or local TV or radio stations newscasts for storm updates.
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, seek safe shelter immediately. Many Ohio counties have outdoor warning sirens that sound during storm warnings.
Another way to receive notification of severe weather and other emergencies is through mobile devices. Wireless Emergency Alerts are emergency messages sent by authorized government alerting authorities through mobile carriers. WEAs can alert of extreme weather warnings, local emergencies requiring evacuation or immediate action, AMBER Alerts, and Presidential Alerts during a national emergency.
Also during the month of March, Federal Emergency Management Agency and the NWS kickoff Severe Weather Safety Month, promoting flood, severe weather and tornado safety.
A flash flood warning is issued by the NWS when flash flooding is imminent or occurring. If you are in a flood-prone area, move to higher ground immediately. A flash flood is a sudden violent flood that can take from minutes to hours to develop.
A flood warning is issued when the hazardous weather event is imminent or already happening. Listen to EAS messages for possible evacuation orders.
A flood watch is issued when conditions are favorable for flooding to occur. A watch does not mean flooding will occur, but it is possible.
A flood advisory is issued when flooding is not expected to be bad enough to issue a warning. However, the weather event could cause significant inconvenience. Caution should be exercised.
During any weather event (flood watches, tornado warnings, severe thunderstorms), continue listening to local weather reports via radio, television or NOAA Weather Radio.
Ohio Committee for Severe Weather Awareness is comprised of 16 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.
For additional information on tornado and other severe weather safety and preparedness, visit the OCSWA website at www.weathersafety.ohio.gov.
–SOURCE: Ohio Committee for Severe Weather Awareness

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