Disaster Preparedness

Cold snaps and heat waves are fairly common in our area of the country. They can be very deadly and challenging.

Dangerous Winter Weather Terms

  • Freezing Rain: Rain that freezes on contact with surfaces
  • Sleet: Rain that freezes before it hits the ground
  • Winter Storm Watch: A winter storm is possible in the area
  • Blizzard Warning: Wind gusts >35 mph, along with snow, are expected
  • Winter Storm Warning: A winter storm is occurring or will begin soon
  • Frost/Freeze Warning: Temperatures expected to drop below freezing
Prepare for dangerous winter weather by stocking up on food and water, securing back-up heat sources, and securing shelter. 

Dangerous Summer Weather Terms

  • Heat Wave: Period of extreme heat and high humidity
  • Heat Index: How hot it feels
  • Heat Cramps: Muscle pains due to exertion—first sign of heat-related problems
  • Heat Exhaustion: Mild form of shock brought on by heat
  • Heat Stroke: Life-threatening condition occurring when the body’s temperature control system shuts down.
During periods of high heat stay indoors in air conditioning as much as possible. Wear sunscreen when outdoors. Drink plenty of water.

Flooding is the nation’s most common natural disaster. Flooding can occur in every state, and our immediate area has a history of flooding. 

However, all floods are not alike. Some flooding can develop slowly during an extended period of rain, or in a warming trend following a heavy snow.  Others, such as flash floods, can occur quickly, even without any visible signs of rain. 

It is important to be prepared for flooding no matter where you live, but particularly if you are in a low-lying area or near water. This is relevant in our City in areas near the Cuyahoga River and the various small streams and creek beds that overflow quickly and create flooding.

Familiarize yourself with these terms to help identify a flood hazard:

  • Flood Watch: Flooding is possible
  • Flash Flood Watch: Flash Flooding is possible
  • Flood Warning: Flooding is occurring or will occur soon
  • Flash Flood Warning: A flash flood is occurring, seek higher ground immediately
Thunderstorms can be severe and dangerous. Lightning in particular is a threat.

Before Thunderstorms Strike:

  • Cut down dead trees and branches around your house
  • Secure loose outdoor objects
  • Shutter windows and secure doors

During a Thunderstorm:

  • Stay inside, do not shower or bathe
  • Unplug electronics

If Outside:

  • Move to a low area, but beware of flooding
  • Never stand under a tall, isolated tree
  • Do not stay in an open field or near open water
Tornadoes are violent, rotating storms with very high winds which can be very destructive. Injuries or deaths most often are due to collapsed structures, flying objects, or people caught trying to outrun the funnel cloud.

Familiarize yourself with these terms to help identify a tornado hazard:

  • Tornado Watch: Tornadoes are possible in the area.
  • Tornado Warning: A tornado has been sighted.

What to Do:

  • Take cover
  • Head for a sheltered area on the lowest floor of a nearby building
  • If outside, lie flat in a low area
  • Never attempt to outrun a tornado