As part of Severe Weather Awareness Week, a statewide tornado drill will occur today at 9:50 a.m. and Fayette County will hold its annual weather spotters training on Thursday.
In a coordinated effort with the Ohio Committee for Severe Weather Awareness (OCSWA), Gov. John Kasich proclaimed March 19 through 25 as Severe Weather Awareness Week. As part of this awareness Fayette County will take part in a state test today to ensure that the emergency alert system (weather sirens and more) is in place and working properly. Schools, businesses and households were encouraged to practice their tornado drill and emergency plans.
In addition to this test, the Fayette County Emergency Management Agency/Homeland Security/Local Emergency Planning Committee (EMA/HLS/LEPC) will hold an annual Weather Spotters training on Thursday at 6 p.m. at the Center for Economic Opportunity, 101 E. East St. in Washington C.H. The training is open to the public and residents are encouraged to attend.
Resources presented by the Fayette County EMA/HLS/LEPC director, Fulton Terry, helped to shed light on many aspects of storm watching. For instance, severe watches mean conditions are favorable for development of a severe thunderstorm and/or a tornado. A severe warning means a severe storm is in the area and residents should stay inside and monitor local broadcasts for current information.
If severe storms have been spotted, resources suggest not jamming phone lines so they are available for emergency use. Additionally, local emergency sirens will sound and continue until the warning is over. These sirens are not meant to be heard indoors, and families should consider purchasing weather monitors and having a portable radio (with backup batteries) available.
Each month, on the fourth Friday at noon, all outdoor sirens and indoor monitor systems will be turned on for a test. The test at the local malls are conducted from 8:30 to 8:45 each month.
OCSWA is comprised of 16 agencies and organizations that are dedicated in educating Ohioans about the natural disasters that typically impact the state, and how to plan for them before they happen. For additional information on tornado and other severe weather safety and preparedness, visit the OCSWA website at www.weathersafety.ohio.gov.
For more information about severe weather, contact the local EMA at (740) 335-8264.
The information in this article was provided by Fayette County EMA/HLS/LEPC Director Fulton Terry.
Reach Martin Graham at (740) 313-0351 or on Twitter @MartiTheNewsGuy