“(Thursday) night's severe weather should serve to remind each of us as to the importance of being prepared,” said Nancy J. Dragani, executive director for the Ohio Emergency Management Agency (EMA). “The actions you take to protect you and your family before the storm will make all the difference after the storm.”
The National Weather Service issued severe thunderstorm watches and warnings for many of Ohio's 88 counties on Thursday, as well as tornado warnings for seven counties. While most of the watches and warnings have expired, the EMA reports flood warnings remain in effect for counties in northwest Ohio.
Flooding is Ohio's number one natural disaster, with tornadoes placing second. Although springtime brings increased threats for severe weather, flooding can occur at any time during any season. In addition, even though Ohio's torndado season is typically April through July, tornadoes, too, can occur at any time during any season, reported the EMA.
In May 2001, severe storms and heavy rains pummeled Gallia County, spurring an action by county government to provide local disaster aid. The following year a tornado ripped through the Adamsville Road/ U.S. 35 rest stop area, causing over $3.5 million in damage and injuring three.
Some warning signs of possible tornado activity include a greenish looking sky, hail with or without rain, approaching cloud of debris, even if it is without a funnel and sudden still and quiet.
The EMA encourages every household, school and business to have a NOAA Weather Radio and an emergency preparedness plan.
“Staying informed and staying alert means staying safe,” the EMA reported.
In addition to having a radio and an emergency preparedness plan, every household should maintain a disaster supply kit with enough food, water and supplies to sustain individuals for a minimum of 72 hours.