Severe Weather Awareness Week is this week

Bowling Green community encouraged to review emergency plans, update safety kits

Ohio’s Spring Severe Weather Awareness Week — March 17-23 — provides the opportunity for Ohioans to prepare their homes, schools and businesses for potential severe 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. The Ohio Committee for Severe Weather Awareness provides current Ohio weather and severe weather safety and preparedness information.

“This week provides us with another opportunity to continue to educate and prepare ourselves for severe weather events,” said Matt Keefe, manager of support services, BGSU Department of Public Safety. “Severe weather can impact our lives any time of the year, while at work, school, home or while traveling. 

"Being vigilant when threatened with inclement weather and preparing for these events can help to protect lives and reduce injures. There are many weather preparedness tools and educational materials available from local, state and federal agencies that you can use before, during and after severe weather events.”

As part of the University’s efforts to safeguard against the effects of severe weather, 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 20) at 9:50 a.m., Wood County and the city of 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.