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By Mary Ripley on  March 27, 2017

Hopefully, Northeast Ohio will be experiencing some warm spring weather soon. And with warmer weather, our risk for severe weather increases. A simple rain can turn into a thunderstorm quickly, which has a possibility of becoming severe and potentially even a tornado. If our weather turns nasty, make sure you're prepared with these basic tips to keep you and your family protected and safe.

Tips to prepare for severe weather

  • Have a 3 day supply of food on hand. Be sure to include at least 1 gallon of water per person in the supply. This is for drinking as well as cooking and hygienic purposes.
  • If you have canned food in your cache, keep a manual can opener on hand to open the food.
  • Make sure your cell phones are fully charged. Also make sure you have power banks for them so that when their batteries completely die, you have a backup charge.
  • Keep a First Aid Kit that has the basics: bandages, antibacterial ointment, gauze, medical tape, any emergency medications you may need, antiseptic wipes and gloves.
  • Properly working flashlights with extra batteries are a necessity for any power emergency.

Have a plan

Probably the most important tool you can have to protect your family, though, is to have an emergency plan prepared. It's very important to get your family on board with understanding what they need to do in case of severe weather and how to react appropriately. Here are some basic things to remember in order to recognize and to prepare for severe weather:

  • The most important step is to know the stages of storm severity: thunderstorm, severe thunderstorm, tornado watch and tornado warning. The most alarming of these is the tornado warning. This means a tornado has been spotted in your area and you should take cover immediately.
  • During a tornado watch, take cover in a basement, staying away from any unsecured shelving or overhanging light fixtures. If you don't have a basement, take shelter in the most interior room of your home.
  • If, by chance, a tornado does hit your home, protect your head. One of the biggest threats from a tornado comes from flying debris, so minimize the possibility of serious injury by protecting your most important body part. Knowing when and how to react to severe weather this spring can be the difference in keeping you and your family safe. Be prepared, be aware and be proactive.

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