Preparing for severe weather

Brown County experienced a “Spring thunderstorm” on March 1 because of unusually warm weather.
The National Weather Service office in Wilmington reported that the three month period from December of 2016 through February of 2017 was the warmest since 1998.
Those warm temperatures gave the area a preview of the Spring weather that normally occurs in March and April as the warmer temperatures of Spring battle with the cold air of Winter.
Brown County Emergency Management Agency Director Barb Davis said that the March 1 storm left behind pockets of heavy damage.
“The National Weather Service determined that there were multiple swaths of enhanced thunderstorm wind damage on March 1 that was consistent with non-tornadic winds. The winds were estimated to be in the 70 to 80 mile per hour range,” Davis said.
She added that with rapid weather changes, severe weather can always be close by.
“This month already, we’ve had highs in the 60s with heavy rain one day, and highs in the 30s with snow the next. This reinforces the importance of being prepared to handle any weather situation,” Davis said.
“What you and your family do to prepare for an emergency before it happens, will make a dramatic difference in your ability to cope with and recover from that emergency.”
She added that while citizens are fortunate enough to have access to professional responders to disaster, that help can be slower to arrive after a weather event.
“While it is true that relief workers will be on the scene after a disaster; they will not be able to reach everyone right away. You should be prepared to care for your family for a minimum of 72 hours without outside assistance,” Davis said.
“Families need to work together to create a disaster plan that works for them. Find out how to plan for  disasters that can affect you and your family at www.ready.ohio.gov.”
Davis said that monitoring NOAA Weather Radios and local media is the best way to stay informed on incoming weather.  Local alerts are also issued when needed.
“In Brown County we activate the outdoor warning sirens for tornado warnings, tornadoes reported on the ground by a trained weather spotter, and during severe thunderstorms when a tornado watch is in effect. If you hear the sirens remember the 3 Ts: Take cover, Tune in, and Take action,” Davis said.
As far as recovery from the March 1 storm goes, Davis said that the effort is going well so far.
“The Brown County Emergency Management Agency has not received any requests for assistance with un-met needs from our citizens. As we toured the damage within our county what we did find were families from the youngest to the oldest members cleaning up and making needed repairs to their property. This says a great deal about the resilience of our citizens.  Anyone with un-met needs is encouraged to contact us at (937) 378-5100.”