Teaching Ohioans Severe Weather Safety and Preparedness

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Ohio’s Spring Severe Weather Awareness Week – March 18-24 – provides the opportunity for Ohioans to prepare their homes, schools and businesses for potential several weather. Bowling Green State University’s Emergency Management office encourages everyone to learn what to do to protect themselves from spring and summer weather hazards while on and off campus, take time now to review emergency plans, get reacquainted with weather warnings and watches and update safety kits and supplies.

Ohio’s spring and summer weather hazards include tornadoes, thunderstorms, floods and even snowstorms through early spring. OCSWA provides current Ohio weather and severe weather safety and preparedness information.

“Effective emergency management and preparedness planning can reduce anxiety, fear and losses that are associated with disastrous events,” said Kelvin Freeman, BGSU emergency management coordinator. “It would behoove our entire Falcon community to become more proactive with severe weather planning, especially knowing the high probability of adverse weather events that continue to plague Bowling Green. The BGSU Department of Public Safety is taking severe weather preparedness to the next level by working on becoming a National Weather Service StormReady University, which will allow us to better prepare our students, faculty, staff and guests for the increasing vulnerabilities of extreme weather through planning, education, training and awareness.”

As part of this effort, Emergency Management has placed at least one emergency alert weather radio in every occupied building on campus. Now is a good time to check that your weather radio is working properly by following these three steps:

1. Have a backup power source (batteries) in case of a power outage.
2. Ensure the unit is in weather radio mode by turning the switch on the left side of the unit to ON.
3. Check the volume and weather broadcast by pressing the WEATHER/SNOOZE button.

The University Department of Public Safety is following the state of Ohio’s guidelines in getting the message out about preparing for severe weather. On Wednesday (March 21) at 9:50 a.m., Bowling Green will take part in the Statewide Tornado Drill. The purpose of the drill is to sound and test outdoor warning sirens. Buildings on campus that have internal weather receivers/notification systems will also be activated for the same duration. Schools, businesses and households are encouraged to practice their tornado drills and emergency plans. This is a good time to review emergency procedures.

Learning tornado and other weather terms will also ensure that everyone knows the difference between a tornado watch and a tornado warning. A tornado watch means conditions are favorable for the development of tornadoes. A tornado warning is issued when a tornado is imminent or occurring. If a tornado warning is issued for your area, do not stop to take photos or shoot video. Seek safe shelter immediately and D.U.C.K.:

D – Go DOWN to the lowest level; stay away from windows
U – Get UNDER something (such as a basement staircase or heavy table or desk)
C – COVER your head
K – KEEP in shelter until the storm has passed

As part of the University’s emergency plan, students, faculty and staff are automatically enrolled in AlertBG, a way to communicate emergency information. Text messages and emails are sent to the campus community in the event of emergency or severe weather closures. Users may add one additional cell phone number and/or email address by visiting the MyBGSU. Click on the AlertBG tab at the top of the Welcome page.