We think of spring as bringing warmth, sunshine and flowers. However, spring can bring the worst weather of the entire year, with events like tornadoes, straight line storms, hail, thunder, lightning and strong winds.
“Spring can bring dangers. More than just tornadoes. A lot of people think it’s tornadoes but we remember the Derecho,” 7News Meteorologist Brian Davis said.
“From tornadoes, severe thunderstorms, flash flooding, even the occasional snowstorm,” Belmont County EMA Director Dave Ivan said.
With all the weather technology, an odd phenomenon has resulted. Bombarded with watches and warnings, we’ve become complacent.
However, every storm is different.
“So you have to treat that storm, each time, that warning, like it could be the one,” Davis said.
That’s why Jefferson Elementary starts every school year with a tornado drill.
“Not so much being afraid of it, but knowing what to do when it does occur,” Principal Cynthia Caldwell said.
So what can you do ahead of the storm? Two things. Have a kit and have a plan.
“Gather the family around the table and have a talk,” Davis said.
Decide on a meeting place, in a central location, in case of emergency.
“Then when the time comes and you’re watching Stormtracker 7 and we give the warning, go to that spot. Don’t wait around,” Davis said.
Two years ago, a Derecho or straight line storm tore a path through the Ohio Valley.
“60, 70, 80 mile per hours winds can be very common in these storms,” Davis said.
Ivan said in any storm, stay indoors until 30 minutes after the last clap of thunder.
“If you can hear thunder, you can be hit by lightning,” Ivan said.
Be prepared by assembling an emergency kit, logging on to ready.gov, putting in water, food, flashlights and batteries, medications, pet food, cell phones, chargers and more.
Rule of thumb, prepare enough to last three days. Then when you’ve done that, you are free to enjoy spring.