Spring Severe Weather Awareness Week is March 19-25. Entering into Ohio’s peak tornado season, it is important to be familiar with protocol surrounding potentially dangerous storms.
While spring and summer represent the peak, severe storms can happen during any season. The city of Oxford tests its tornado/outdoor warning sirens at noon on the first Wednesday of each month, unless there is the possibility of severe weather that day.
Spring Severe Weather Awareness Week brings attention to the steps to take during a weather emergency.
- Sign up for your local emergency notification system or download a weather app. The Emergency Alert System and NOAA Weather Radio also provide emergency alerts.
- Cut down or trim trees that may be in danger of falling onto your home.
- Consider buying surge protectors, lightning rods, or a lightning protection system to protect your home, appliances, and electronics.
- Clean/clear drains and gutters.
- Know the difference between watches and warnings.
o WATCH: conditions are favorable
o WARNING: imminent or occurring now
- Build an emergency kit (flashlight, batteries, first aid, etc.) for your home and vehicle.
- Make a family communications plan.
Outdoor warning sirens reaching Miami’s campuses in Butler County are operated by the Butler County Emergency Management Agency (EMA). If a tornado warning is given, the warning sirens run for 5 minutes.
The siren gives people time to tune into weather radios or other devices to hear real-time information from weather channels or other sources. It is recommended that people have available a battery-operated radio and a tone-alerting weather radio.
When Miami learns of dangerous weather including tornadoes, it will send out an emergency message including text alerts. When dangerous weather has passed, the university will send an “all clear” notice.
Tornado safety rules
When the tornado alarm sounds, all Miami University personnel should immediately leave their workspaces and assemble in designated areas. Personnel will remain at this location until the “all-clear” has been received and communicated by either the Miami University police department, university news and communications, or the building's designee.
Terms to know
Tornado Watch — issued when weather conditions are favorable for producing a tornado or severe storm.
Tornado Warning — issued by the National Weather Service when there is a possible threat of a tornado in Butler County determined by radar or satellite and/or reliable spotter. Occasionally tornadoes develop so rapidly that advance warning is not possible.
Remain alert for signs of an approaching tornado such as dark, often greenish sky, large hail, or a loud roar similar to a freight train.