With spring comes weather awareness

Maybe — just maybe — we are through with snow. After all, today is the first day of spring. And, yes, Punxsutawney Phil, got it right last month. Does it seem he always does? Heck, baseball season will be opening soon and golfers are getting itchy. Enough with the snow and cold!

The weather is always a factor for all of us. How could it not be? With the first day of spring comes “Severe Weather Awareness Week.” It began yesterday and will continue through this week.

Those involved include the Emergency Management Association of Ohio through which local officials work. Although we have been fortunate in our parts during recent years when it comes to particularly violent weather, the threat is always there. Especially during the approaching tornado season. Southern Ohio actually had a few this month.

As part of “Severe Weather Awareness Week,” as coordinated by Ohio Committee for Severe Weather Awareness (OCSWA), a statewide tornado drill and test of the Emergency Alert System (EAS) is planned for 9:50 a.m. this Wednesday. During this time, Ohio counties will sound and test their outdoor warning sirens. Schools, businesses and households are encouraged to practice their tornado drills and emergency plans. According to Ohio Fire Code 409.2, schools must conduct tornado drills at least once a month whenever in session during the tornado season. Ohio’s “tornado season” is April 1 – July 30.

Hopefully, practice is the only time those sirens will be ever needed. But we encourage our readers to go over the basic safety drills and procedures when encountering hazardous spring weather. Know how severe weather could impact your home, your job and your community. Ohio’s springtime hazards include tornadoes, thunderstorms, floods, and — yes, sigh — even snowstorms. Visit the OCSWA website: www.weathersafety.ohio.gov to view current weather in Ohio, and to review severe weather safety and preparedness information. It doesn’t take much effort to come up with a plan and it could just turn out to be a life saver for you and loved ones.