NEW PHILADELPHIA Dover, Oh

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New Philadelphia, Ohio (WJER) - State and local officials want residents to be prepared for severe weather as spring approaches. Tuscarawas County Emergency Management Agency Director Alex McCarthy says residents should always be ready, as illustrated by recent wind storms that left thousands without power.

“It’s always good for people to have about a three-day provision of non-perishable food, supplies, medicine and cash on hand just in case we do run into another such power outage,” he says.

McCarthy says Ohio sees 16 to 22 tornadoes each year. He says the National Weather Service will issue a tornado watch when there’s a chance a tornado could form. During a tornado watch, he says, residents should think about where they would go if there is a tornado.

“Do you have a basement that you can go down to?  Perhaps, an interior closet on the first floor if you don’t have a basement tornado shelter nearby,” he says. “If you live in a mobile home park, is there a safe room or tornado shelter nearby?”

He says a tornado warning means a tornado has been spotted and residents should act.

“If a tornado warning is issued, that means that the National Weather Service has reason to believe that there is a tornado on the ground,” he says. “When a tornado warning is issued, that is the time to take cover, whether that be go to your basement, go to that closet or seek shelter.”

March 17th through 23rd is Severe Weather Awareness Week in Ohio. A statewide tornado drill is planned for March 20th at 9:50 am.

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