Whether practicing in a tornado drill or sheltering during a warning, the Ohio Committee for Severe Weather Awareness encourages Ohioans to DUCK!
D — Go DOWN to the lowest level
U — Get UNDER something
C— COVER your head
K— KEEP in shelter until the storm has passed
The safest place to be during a tornado is a basement. If the building has no basement or cellar, go to a small room (a bathroom or closet) on the lowest level of the structure, away from windows and as close to the center of the building as possible.
Be aware of emergency shelter plans in stores, offices and schools. If no specific shelter has been identified, move to the building’s lowest level. Try to avoid areas with large glass windows, large
rooms and wide-span roofs such as auditoriums, cafeterias, large hallways or shopping malls.
If you’re outside, in a car or mobile home, go immediately to the lowest level of a nearby sturdy building. Sturdy buildings are the safest structures to be in when tornadoes threaten. Winds from tornadoes can blow large objects, including cars and mobile homes, hundreds of feet away.
If there is no building nearby, lie flat in a low spot. Use your arms and hands to protect your head. It is not safe to seek shelter under highway overpasses and bridges.
Take responsibility for your safety and be prepared before a watch or warning is issued. Meet with household members to develop a disaster plan to respond to tornado watches and warnings.
Conduct regular tornado drills. When a tornado watch is issued, review your plan – don’t wait for the watch to become a warning. Learn how to turn off the water, gas and electricity at the main switches.
Despite Doppler radar, tornadoes can sometimes occur without any warning, allowing very little time to act. It is important to know the basics of tornado safety. Know the difference between tornado watches and tornado warnings. Monitor the NOAA Weather Radio broadcasts. NOAA broadcasts warnings, watches, forecasts and other hazard information, 24 hours a day. Broadcasts are found in the public service band at frequency 162.400 (MHz). An NOAA weather radio can be purchased at electronic or department stores.
If a tornado should strike, keep track of the storm by listening to a radio station that broadcasts for the Emergency Alert System. In Huron County, those stations designated as Emergency Alert System stations are WLKR, Norwalk-Milan, 95.3 FM, and WOHF, Bellevue, 92.1 FM.
You should also tune into the Weather Channel or your local cable television news channel. NOAAWeather Radio has available an alerting tool for people who are deaf or have hearing impairments. Some weather radio receivers can be connected to an existing home security system, much the same as a doorbell, smoke detector or other sensor. For additional information, visit www.nws.noaa.gov/nwr/special_need.htm.
— Information provided by Bill Ommert, Huron County EMA director.