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SaferSchools Ohio
When the Tornado Sirens Sound, Will You Know What to Do?
Spring Severe Weather Awareness Week is March 19-25

In a coordinated effort with the Ohio Committee for Severe Weather Awareness (OCSWA), Governor John R. Kasich is proclaiming March 19-25 as Severe Weather Awareness Week and encourages all Ohioans to learn what to do to protect themselves from spring and summer weather hazards and home emergencies.

Schools are encouraged to exercise their school emergency management plans and drill during the Annual Statewide Tornado Drill, scheduled for Wednesday, March 22nd at 9:50 a.m.  Schools that participate in the statewide drill in March may be able to apply that date as their required April tornado drill.  Check with your local fire official.  Also, if your school documents the tornado drill to the reporting standards of the emergency management test, the drill can count as your functional emergency management test for 2017.

What can schools do during Severe Weather Awareness Week?

• Review your school safety plan to prepare for high-risk days such as severe thunderstorms and tornado watches and warnings.

• Ensure students and faculty know 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, seek shelter immediately.

• Know where your designated tornado shelters are located.  The most interior areas on the ground floor, away from windows and glass are best for use as protective areas – such as hallways. Large, open rooms such as cafeterias, gymnasiums and auditoriums should never be used as protective areas. Modular and portable classrooms are also considered unsafe during tornadoes and thunderstorms.

• Have class discussions on severe weather safety and emergency preparedness. Visit OCSWA’s (link is external) or (link is external) to learn what actions Ohioans can take before, during and after inclement weather and other emergencies that typically impact the state.

• Encourage students in 1st – 6th grade to participate in the Severe Weather Awareness Poster Contest! Click Here

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