Severe Weather

stormsPlain City can experience tornadoes, severe winds, and flash flooding. As the safety of our residents is our top priority, we have compiled these severe weather tips to help you prepare. Whether you're a long-time resident or a recent transplant, being prepared can make all the difference when facing nature's fury.

To access a comprehensive guide on weather safety and preparedness, please click here.

Weather Advisories, Watches  & Warnings

The issuance of weather advisories, watches, and warnings within the region falls under the purview of the National Weather Service in Wilmington, Ohio. The issuance of such advisories is based on specific criteria and potential impacts. Residents should familiarize themselves with these advisories and to remain up-to-date about potential severe weather.

A Watch indicates the possibility of severe weather in a relatively broad area. For instance, a tornado watch means conditions are favorable for the development of tornadoes. Go about your normal routines, but watch for threatening weather.

A Warning is issued when severe weather is actually occurring. For instance, a tornado warning means a tornado has actually been sighted or has been indicated by radar. The warning usually encompasses a relatively small geographic area. If a warning is issued for Plain City, take cover immediately.

Stay Weather Aware: Download the Plain City Mobile App

Residents and businesses in Plain City are encouraged to download the Plain City Mobile App to receive weather alerts and Village announcements. This free app, available for download on various app stores, ensures that users stay informed about important updates in the face of changing weather conditions.

Outdoor Tornado Sirens

In the Village of Plain City, outdoor tornado sirens alert residents to potential tornado threats. Activated by local authorities when tornado warnings are issued, these sirens serve as a vital component of the community's severe weather preparedness. Tornado sirens are not intended to be heard indoors, and relying solely on them while indoors may not provide sufficient warning. It’s important to stay informed through multiple sources, such as weather alerts on smartphones, weather radios, or local news broadcasts, especially when severe weather is anticipated. In the event that the outdoor tornado sirens are activated, residents should seek shelter indoors and take shelter.

Taking Shelter

Storms producing tornadoes in Ohio often approach from the southwest. They can travel at speeds up to 70 miles per hour and contain winds estimated at over 200 miles per hour. Sometimes an approaching tornado will sound like the roar of a train or airplane. If you see or hear a tornado, take cover immediately. Seek shelter inside, preferably below ground level. Do not waste time opening windows. Above all, protect your head and lie flat.

In a Vehicle
If caught in a vehicle during a tornado or severe winds, pull over to a safe location away from trees, overpasses, and other structures that may pose a risk of falling debris. Stay low in the vehicle, buckle your seatbelt, and cover your head with your hands to protect against shattered glass. If possible, and as a last resort, abandon the vehicle and seek shelter in a low-lying area, such as a ditch.

At Home
Get away from windows, doors and outside walls. Go to the basement. If you have no basement, go to a first floor bathroom, closet or room at the center of the house. If possible, get under heavy furniture and cover your head with blankets or pillows.

At School
Go to the lowest floor or basement. Go to small interior rooms or hallways. Stay away from windows and avoid auditoriums, gyms and other areas with wide, free-span roofs.

In Public Buildings
Go immediately to the designated shelter area or to an interior hallway or small room on the lowest level. Stay away from windows. Do not use elevators. Do not go to your car.

Other Severe Weather Threats

Damaging Winds
Damaging winds can cause significant damage even though no tornado is present. "Downbursts" are columns of air that slam to the earth and spread high winds in many directions. Downbursts can be just as damaging as tornadoes; if such conditions are present, take the same precautions as you would for a tornado.

Lightning claims more lives every year than tornadoes. When lightning is a threat, stay indoors and don't use electrical appliances. If you're caught outside, keep a safe distance from tall objects, and try to stay lower than anything nearby. A safe distance from a tree is twice its height.

Flash Flooding
Flash flooding poses a significant threat. Sudden and intense rainfall can cause dangerous flooding in a short period and sometimes without notice. If a flash flood warning is issued, seek higher ground immediately. Move to a safe location away from flood-prone areas, and avoid low-lying spots where water can accumulate rapidly. Keep in mind that flash floods can occur even in areas not typically prone to flooding.

Downed Power Lines & Outages

Severe weather often leads to downed lines and power outages. In the event of a power outage, it's important to contact your specific electric provider directly for assistance:

- First Energy/Ohio Edison: 888-544-4877
- AEP Ohio: 800-672-2231
- Union Rural Electric: 800-642-1826

If you encounter a downed power line, never touch or go near it!

- Always assume it is live and report it to the electric provider.
- For a life threatening emergency, call 911.
- Stay at least ten feet away and keep children and pets away.
- When cleaning up after storm damage, do not remove tree limbs near downed lines.

Additionally, never drive over downed power lines. Even if not energized, lines can become entangled in your vehicle. Also, never touch a person who is in contact with power lines or other objects that are touching power lines.

Immediate Post-Storm Recovery

Stay Informed
- Listen to weather updates on a battery-powered weather radio or a reliable source.
- Use your mobile phone to access emergency alerts and information.

Assess Safety
- Check for injuries among family members or neighbors and administer first aid if necessary.
- Be cautious of hazards like broken glass, fallen power lines, or damaged structures.

Secure Property
- If safe, cover broken windows and damaged roofs with tarps to prevent further damage.
- Take photos of the damage for insurance claims.

- Turn off gas, water, and electricity if there are signs of damage or if authorities recommend it.
- Report any gas leaks to the utility company.

- Inform family and friends of your safety status.
- Use text messages or social media to conserve phone battery.

Stay Indoors
- Avoid going outside unless necessary, as there may be ongoing hazards.
- Watch out for displaced wildlife, downed power lines, and other dangers.

Community Assistance
- Follow authorities' instructions for community assistance and evacuation if needed.
- Help neighbors who may need assistance, especially the elderly or those with disabilities.

Seek Shelter
- If your home is unsafe, seek temporary shelter in designated community shelters or with friends and family.

- Contact your insurance company to start the claims process.
- Document the damage thoroughly with photos and written descriptions.