Prepare for Forecasted Event or Respond to Impending Event

This page is indented to help provide you with information to prepare for a forecasted/possible event (i.e. inbound storm, terrorism, et cetera).  Your message may have identified a KEY WORD (future use).  If so, please see the related checklist.

This page is in a state of constant update to ensure the most relevant information is provided to assist your household, business, or organization to prepare and respond to disaster.

Key Words:

Severe Weather

The following actions are provided in the event your household, business, or organization does not have a written emergency plan on what actions to take.




  • Keep your mobile phone fully charged throughout the day

    • If you have a portable power bank, take it with you today (with your charging cable)​

  • If you have a family emergency kit, check the dates and status of items contained (i.e. change out old batteries, etc.)

    • Remember to store your emergency kit in the same location you shelter

    • If you don’t have a family emergency kit, strongly consider making one

      • An emergency kit is the insurance you take out for yourself and your family before any help can arrive

      • If you can’t help yourself, you’re not going to be any help to others

  • If you have a generator, check fuel and maintenance status (e.g. oil change, etc.)

  • Review your family emergency plan during your next dinner, to allow time for updates (link)

  • If you will be on the road on, check your vehicle emergency kit- Monitor the weather

  • If you have not yet signed up for emergency alerts, do so now (link)

    • Pro-Tip:  If you value your life, you should ensure that you get emergency alerts from multiple sources (e.g. WEA, NOAA radio, apps, et cetera) ... If your phone starts to, as the kids say, "Blow-Up" then you know something is certainly happening

      • If you are programming your NOAA weather radio, the SAME code for Clinton County, Ohio is 039027

      • If your NOAA weather radio uses direct tuning, please select either 162.550 or 162.475 (both are designated for Clinton County).​

  • Do a quick review with your family, friends, co-workers on what to do in the event you have to take shelter

    • Where would you go

    • What should you do // What should you NOT do

    • How you would receive the notice/alert to take action

    • What if you had to evacuate ... where would you go and are they far enough removed that they would not be affected by a hazard that would affect you?

    • If you had a power outage, what immediate steps would you take to protect your refrigerated and frozen food?​​​


  • Conduct an exterior check searching for and securing/removing potential windblown missiles

    • Homes: Patio furniture, play equipment, yard decorations, trash cans, et cetera​

    • All: Remove dead or rotting trees and branches that could fall and cause injury/damage

    • All: Be considerate of possible items on your property that your neighbor might inherit with high winds...also, check in on your neighbor to make sure they are aware of the forecasted event so they can take action

  • (If possible) Park vehicles to take advantage of structures to help protect engine and windshields from possible damage

  • Top off fuel on vehicles

  • Check fuel / maintenance status of emergency generators (if equipped)

  • Discuss departmental lessons learned from previous storms and power outages to prepare mitigations (if required)


  • Review your power outage plan (make pre-storm calls) for transport & storage or alternate power source(s)

  • If you have an agreement for emergency storage at another location, give them a call to ensure they still have room, and there have not been any changes to their storage conditions (e.g. inoperative equipment, maintenance, scheduled time off of your contact, et cetera)



  • Locations with auto-backup (consider running early)

    • Backup allows orderly saving of work & shutdown 

    • Backup is not intended for convince or continued work

  • If you utilize manual backup (do so now)

    • USB portable drives

    • Cloud backup 

Power Outage

The following actions are provided in the event your household, business, or organization does not have a written emergency plan on what actions to take.

BEFORE a Power Outage

Take an inventory of the items you need that rely on electricity. Plan for batteries and other alternative power sources to meet your needs when the power goes out, such as a portable charger or power bank. Have flashlights for every household member. Determine whether your home phone will work in a power outage and how long battery backup will last.

To prepare for a blackout or power outage, you should do the following.

  • To begin preparing, you should update or build an emergency kit and make a family plan.

  • If you are not signed up for free severe weather and emergency alerts, sign up now.

  • Follow energy conservation measures to keep the use of electricity as low as possible, which can help power companies avoid imposing rolling blackouts.

  • Fill plastic containers with water and place them in the refrigerator and freezer, if there’s room. Leave about an inch of space inside each one, because water expands as it freezes. This chilled or frozen water will help keep food cold during a temporary power outage.

  • Be aware that most medication that requires refrigeration can be kept in a closed refrigerator for several hours without a problem. If unsure, check with your physician or pharmacist.

  • Keep your gas tank in your vehicle at least half full because gas stations rely on electricity to power their pumps.

  • If you have a portable generator, perform an inspection.

  • If you have a portable power cell/battery, recharge it now.

  • Know where the manual release lever of your electric garage opener is located and know how to operate it. Garage doors can be heavy, so know that you may need help to lift it.

  • Keep a key to your house with you if you regularly use the garage as the primary means of entering your home, in case the garage door will not open.


DURING a Power Outage

  • Keep freezers and refrigerators closed.

  • Use a generator, but ONLY outdoors and away from windows.

  • Do not use a gas stove or oven to heat your home.

  • Disconnect appliances and electronics to avoid damage from electrical surges.

  • Have alternate plans for refrigerating medicines or using power-dependent medical devices.

  • Check with local officials about heating and cooling locations open near you.


How to Protect Yourself During a Power Outage:

Go to a community location with power if heat or cold is extreme.

Know Your Medical Needs

Talk to your medical provider about a power outage plan for medical devices powered by electricity and refrigerated medicines. Find out how long medication can be stored at higher temperatures and get specific guidance for any medications that are critical for life.

Food Storage

Have enough nonperishable food and water. Keep freezers and refrigerators closed. The refrigerator will keep food cold for about four hours. A full freezer will keep the temperature for about 48 hours. Use coolers with ice if necessary. Monitor temperatures with a thermometer. Throw out food if the temperature is 40 degrees or higher.

Using Appliances During Power Outages

Install carbon monoxide detectors with battery backup in central locations on every level of your home. Avoid carbon monoxide poisoning. Generators, camp stoves or charcoal grills should always be used outdoors and at least 20 feet away from windows. Never use a gas stovetop or oven to heat your home. Turn off or disconnect appliances, equipment, or electronics. Power may return with momentary surges or spikes that can cause damage.

Returning AFTER a Power Outage

  • When in doubt, throw it out! Throw away any food that has been exposed to temperatures 40 degrees or higher for two hours or more, or that has an unusual odor, color or texture.

  • If the power is out for more than a day, discard any medication that should be refrigerated, unless the drug’s label says otherwise. Consult your doctor or pharmacist immediately for a new supply.


The following actions are provided in the event your household, business, or organization does not have a written emergency plan on what actions to take.

BEFORE a Tornado

  • Know your area’s tornado risk. In the U.S., the Midwest and the Southeast have a greater risk for tornadoes.

  • Know the signs of a tornado, including a rotating, funnel-shaped cloud, an approaching cloud of debris, or a loud roar like a freight train.

  • Sign up for your community’s warning system. The Emergency Alert System (EAS) and NOAA Weather Radio also provide emergency alerts. If your community has sirens, then become familiar with the warning tone.

  • Pay attention to weather reports. Meteorologists can predict when conditions might be right for a tornado.

  • Identify and practice going to a safe shelter such as a safe room built using FEMA criteria or a storm shelter built to ICC 500 standards. The next best protection is a small, interior, windowless room or basement on the lowest level of a sturdy building.

  • Plan for your pet. They are an important member of your family, so they need to be included in your family’s emergency plan.

  • Prepare for long-term stay at home or sheltering in place by gathering emergency supplies, cleaning supplies, non-perishable foods, water, medical supplies and medication.

DURING a Tornado

  • Immediately go to a safe location that you have identified.

  • Pay attention to EAS, NOAA Weather Radio, or local alerting systems for current emergency information and instructions.

  • Protect yourself by covering your head or neck with your arms and putting materials such as furniture and blankets around or on top of you.

  • Do not try to outrun a tornado in a vehicle if you are in a car. If you are in a car or outdoors and cannot get to a building, cover your head and neck with your arms and cover your body with a coat or blanket, if possible.

AFTER a Tornado

  • Pay attention to EAS, NOAA Weather Radio, and local authorities for updated information.

  • Stay clear of fallen power lines or broken utility lines.

  • Contact your healthcare provider if you are sick and need medical attention. Wait for further care instructions and continue to shelter in place.

  • Wear appropriate gear during clean-up such as thick-soled shoes, long pants, and work gloves, use appropriate face coverings or masks if cleaning mold or other debris.

Shelter In Place (SIP) 

The following actions are provided in the event your household, business, or organization does not have a written emergency plan on what actions to take.  For use during a hazardous materials release or conditions are not safe whether you are at home, work or anywhere else you frequent regularly, there may be situations when it's best to stay where you are and avoid any uncertainty outside. 

Note:  Shelter in Place should never be used during an active aggressor situation.   The correct form of protection to use during an active aggressor situation is called a LOCKDOWN.


  • Go inside as quickly as possible (seconds count).  Bring any pets indoors.

  • Lock all doors and windows for a better seal.

  • Turn off the air conditioner or furnace, all fans, close the fireplace damper and any other place that air can come in from outside.

  • Use duct tape and plastic to seal around doors and windows in the room where you take shelter.

    • Be prepared to improvise and use what you have on hand to seal gaps so that you create a barrier between yourself and any contamination.

  • Plug/closed drains leading to sewers.

    • Move to an interior room with as few windows as possible.

  • Listen for current emergency information and instructions from authorities.

    • Watch TV and listen to the radio or check the Internet often for official news and instructions as they become available.

  • Do not drink water from the tap.  Stored drinking water will be safer.

  • Do not reopen doors or windows until directed.

  • Do not allow others to enter your home after you have initiated SIP.  They could be contaminated and compromise your household.


“Sealing a room” is considered a temporary protective measure to create a barrier between you and potentially contaminated air outside. This type of sheltering in place requires pre-planning by purchasing plastic sheeting and duct tape that you would keep in your emergency supply kit.

Lockdown (Active Aggressor)

The following actions are provided in the event your household, business, or organization does not have a written emergency plan on what actions to take.


  • Get away - That is your top priority!

  • Leave belongings behind.

  • Help others if you can, but you must escape.

  • Warn others to stay away from the area.

  • Call 9-1-1 when you are safe.


  • Stay out of the shooter’s view.

  • Lock and block entrances and turn off lights.

  • Groups of people should spread out when hiding.

  • Text 9-1-1 and text message others to silently communicate.

  • Stay in place until given the-all-clear signal.

  • Silence electronic devices and make sure they don’t vibrate. Devices that buzz or ring will bring attention to places of hiding.


  • Commit to your actions. Fight. Do not hesitate.

  • Be prepared to inflict severe injury to the aggressor/shooter.

  • Throw objects or improvise weapons (staplers, scissors, chairs).