Last night, as many of us huddled with our families, eyes glued to weather updates, and ears strained to hear the eerie wail of tornado sirens, Summit County, including Akron, was reminded once again of nature’s unpredictable power. While the tornado watches have ended without any touchdowns, the after-effects are palpable. Many of our neighbors are still without power, and some of our children got an unexpected day off due to school closures.
In Akron and Summit County, the reality of tornadoes might feel distant, given the infrequency of significant touchdowns. You can see all tornado activity by city and year here. However, tornado watches, like last night, bring the potential threat closer to home. It’s essential to recognize the importance of preparedness and be aware of the history of tornado activity in our area.
Historically, Ohio sees an average of 19 tornadoes yearly, with a concentration in the summer months. In Summit County specifically, since the 1950s, there have been over 20 reported tornadoes varying in intensity. While these numbers might seem relatively low compared to more tornado-prone areas, they underscore the importance of staying vigilant.
With this in mind, here are some vital safety tips:
- Designate a Safe Spot: This should be an interior room on the lowest floor, away from windows and outside walls, like a basement or an inside hallway.
- Prepare an Emergency Kit: This kit should have a flashlight with extra batteries, a battery-operated weather radio, essential medicines, some non-perishable food items, bottled water, and a first aid kit. Don’t forget comforting items for kids, like a favorite toy.
- Stay Informed: Use reliable sources such as local news, weather apps, or the National Weather Service for weather updates. Always have a battery-operated backup.
- Educate the Kids: Use this to discuss safety without instilling fear. Explain the importance of listening and following safety procedures.
- Connect with Neighbors: Community strength shines brightest after the storm. Check-in on neighbors, particularly the elderly or families with young children.
The recent tornado watch serves as a reminder always to be prepared. For Akron moms, these moments highlight the need to ensure our families feel safe, secure, and knowledgeable about potential weather threats.
As we look forward to clearer skies, let’s remember the importance of preparation and community.