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Spring time severe weather threatens Central Ohio

Prepare for severe weather

A thunderstorm is considered severe if it produces hail at least 1 inch in diameter or has wind gusts of at least 58 miles per hour. Every thunderstorm produces lightning, which kills more people each year than tornadoes or hurricanes. Heavy rain from thunderstorms can cause flash flooding, and high winds can damage homes and blow down trees and utility poles, causing widespread power outages.

Watches and Warnings

Severe Thunderstorm Watch - Severe thunderstorms are possible in and near the watch area. Stay informed and be ready to act if a severe thunderstorm warning is issued.

Severe Thunderstorm Warning - Severe weather has been reported by spotters or indicated by radar. Warnings indicate imminent danger to life and property.

How to Prepare

Discuss thunderstorm safety with all the members of your household and pick a safe place in your home to gather during a thunderstorm — away from windows, skylights and glass doors. Make trees and shrubbery more wind resistant by keeping them trimmed and by removing dead and damaged branches. Assemble an emergency preparedness kit and make sure to include food, a flashlight and a first aid kit.

During the Storm

If severe weather is likely, postpone outdoor activities. Listen to local news or NOAA Weather Radio for emergency updates. If a severe thunderstorm warning is issued, take shelter in a substantial building or in a vehicle with the windows closed. Shutter windows and close outside doors securely. Keep away from windows.

After the Storm

Stay away from storm-damaged areas to prevent putting yourself at risk. Never drive through a flooded roadway and avoid downed power lines. Continue to monitor NOAA Weather Radio or local radio and television news for updated information or instructions.

Learn More

Detailed information about preparing for severe weather and assembling a storm survival kit is available at

The American Red Cross of Central-Southeast Ohio is dedicated to helping make families and communities safer at home and around the world. Currently serving 2.5 million residents in 25 Ohio counties, the organization is sustained by over a thousand volunteers. The Red Cross provides assistance to more than 600 families each year after home fires and other disasters strike. Yearly, the organization trains and educates around 90,000 area residents in vital lifesaving skills like first aid, CPR and how to prepare for emergencies. The Red Cross also sent over 1,800 emergency messages between members of the military and their families. The community transportation program provides rides to medical appointments for over 700 seniors and individuals with disabilities, logging more than 15,000 trips per year. All these programs and more are made possible by the donations of time and money from our community. Matt Bertram is the CEO and Jamie Richardson serves as the board chair.