Statewide tornado drill, test set for March 20

SIDNEY — As part of Severe Weather Awareness Week, as coordinated by OCSWA, the city of Sidney will participate in a statewide tornado drill and test its Emergency Alert System on Wednesday, March 20, at 9:50 a.m.

“During this time, we will sound and test our warning sirens. Schools, businesses and households are encouraged to practice their tornado drills and emergency plans,” said Sidney Police Chief Will Balling.

What Can We Do During Severe Weather Awareness Week?

• Prepare for Weather and Home Emergencies. Homes, schools and businesses should update their safety/ communications plans. Practice tornado and fire drills. Replenish supplies in emergency kits. Be informed – Know the risks about the different disasters and hazards that can affect families where they live, work and go to school. Include children in emergency planning.

• Know Ohio’s Weather Hazards. Ohio’s spring and summer weather hazards include tornadoes, thunderstorms, floods, and even snowstorms through early spring. Visit the OCSWA website: to view current Ohio weather and to review severe weather safety and preparedness information.

• Know the Difference between Storm Watches and Warnings. 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. OCSWA Spring & Summer Weather Terms

During tornado drills or actual tornado warnings, remember to DUCK!

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

During storm watches or warnings, listen to your NOAA Weather Radio or your local news for current weather conditions and information.

People could also receive notification of severe weather and other emergencies through their cellphones and mobile devices. Wireless Emergency Alerts (WEA) are emergency texts sent by authorized government alerting authorities. WEAs can notify you of storm warnings, local emergencies requiring evacuation or immediate action, AMBER Alerts, and Presidential Alerts.

“Every minute counts in a disaster. Plan now so you’re prepared. Make emergency plans for the different hazards that can impact your household. Practice tornado and fire drills. Make emergency supply kits for your home or for your car, in case you need to evacuate,” said Balling.