Mount Vernon fire chief Chad Christopher

Mount Vernon Fire Chief Chad Christopher

MOUNT VERNON – Mount Vernon and Knox County is no stranger to severe weather during the spring. 

With the spring months March, April and May upon us, the Mount Vernon Fire Department would like to share a few preparedness and safety tips. Mount Vernon, along with Knox County, every year deals with severe weather emergencies that leave our residents without power for extended periods, roadways blocked with fallen tree debris and power lines, and several thousands of dollars in home repairs.

“Practicing home tornado drills, identifying safe places in the home to take refuge and preparing an emergency safety kit are all ways to help stay safe and mitigate a severe weather storm emergency,” said Chad Christopher, MVFD Fire Chief.

The United States experiences more tornadoes than any other country. In 2019, Ohio ranked 10th in the country with the number of tornadoes. In 2020, Ohio had 20 tornadoes according to the National Weather Service, with April being the month with the most storm activity. Practicing a home tornado drill with everyone in the family is very important.

An acronym to remember when practicing a tornado or sheltering drill or during a storm warning is DUCK! D – Go Down to the lowest level, U – Get Under something, C – Cover your head, K – Keep in shelter until the storm has passed. Also, preparing an emergency safety kit/bag that you can quickly grab and take with you when sheltering is a great idea.

Items to place in your kit/bag are; flashlights, extra batteries, first aid kit, water, food, extended battery pack charger for phone, and a whistle to signal for help. Other items can be placed in your kit as you feel necessary.

Other safety tips to follow are; if using a generator, run the generator a safe distance outside away from your home, use correct sized extension cords and do not overload circuits. If using candles for lighting never leave unattended and keep all combustibles at least 3 feet away.

Early notification of a severe storm event is critical to ensuring safety.

“Severe Weather Awareness Week is a great time to review your Emergency Plan and Emergency Kit. It is also a great time to sign up for Knox County’s Emergency Alerts,” said Knox County EMA Director, Mark Maxwell.

Sign ups for Knox Alerts are available by going to the Knox County Emergency Management Facebook Page (https://www.facebook.com/KnoxOhioEMA/) and clicking on the Sign Up button.

Please reach out to Mount Vernon Fire if needing help to develop a severe weather emergency plan. Please stay safe during this year’s storm season and throughout the year.

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