Extreme Ohio Weather: Revisiting Storm Preparedness
Ohio and many other Midwestern states have been experiencing severe spring weather lately. Spring storms and the beginning of tornado season has been a reoccurring forecast for many plains states, the deep south, and the Midwest. The latest tornadoes that tore through Oklahoma, Mississippi, and Arkansas are a reminder that severe weather is a seasonal reality and that preparation for tornadoes needs to be ongoing. Stronger seasonal storms occurring with greater frequency are becoming more common across the U.S. Staying as prepared as possible and planning against specific weather threats is a necessary part of comprehensive disaster planing.
Secure Your Home
Severe storms have the potential to seriously damage or even destroy homes. In preparation for a severe storm, it is a good idea to make improvements to the exterior and secure belongings outdoors. High winds can pick up any object and cause it to become a destructive projectile. In anticipation of a severe storm, remove lawn furniture, toys, yard debris, and secure larger items in a garage. Preventing items around the house from becoming projectiles will help mitigate damage to your home and surrounding homes during severe winds. You may also need to board up windows if the winds are strong enough.
Plan for Flooding
Heavy rains from storms often bring flooding. In preparation for severe weather, you should always plan for flooding. This involves having a plan to remove valuables like furniture and electronics from basements and raising appliances in the event flood waters enter the home. Flood planning is essential to any disaster preparedness endeavor and in Ohio, is an important part of mitigating the effects of seasonal storms. If you live in a flood plain or highly flood prone area, installing flood barriers in anticipation of a storm may be necessary to help mitigate waters from entering the home. Always have a response plan in the event of severe flooding and call a water damage specialist as soon as possible to being cleaning and restoring damaged areas.
Have an Emergency Kit
Finally, you want to maintain an emergency preparedness kit in preparation for any type of disaster. This will help you sustain yourself and retain some level of comfort after a disaster–especially if you are displaced. Keep at least 72 hours worth of food and water in the kit, as well as items like: flashlights, blankets, first aid kits, batteries, and a radio. An emergency kit is a good thing to have in a vehicle as well. In the event of an ongoing power outage or other compromised utility service at home, being self-sustaining is extremely important.