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CLEVELAND (WJW)– Sunday marks the start of Severe Weather Awareness Week in Ohio.

It’s a joint effort from the National Weather Service, the Ohio Committee for Severe Weather Awareness and the Ohio Emergency Management Agency to promote preparedness. The NWS provides safety guides on tornados , flooding, lighting and more.

The statewide tornado drill is Wednesday at 9:50 a.m.

“The NWS encourages everyone to abide by health and safety guidelines, including social distancing and wearing a mask per local directives. If that’s not possible during the tornado test, then consider participating by simply sheltering-in-place or discussing sheltering options/plans among co-workers/family members. Every school, citizen, and business is encouraged to participate in the drill,” the NWS said.

What do watches and warnings mean?

  • Hazardous Weather Outlook
    • Issued at least twice daily by 6 a.m. and 4 p.m. to alert you of potential weather hazards. 
    • Stay tuned to later statements and be alert for the development of hazardous weather.
  • Severe Weather Watches
    • Issued when conditions become favorable for the development of severe weather.
    • Prepare and take necessary precautions in the event a warning is issued or severe weather is observed.
  • Severe Thunderstorm Warning
    • Issued when severe weather (1-inch hail or larger and/or winds in excess of 58 mph) is imminent.
    • Take immediate action to save lives and property.
  • Tornado Warning
    • Issued when a tornado is imminent and has been spotted or indicated by Doppler radar.
    • Take immediate action to save lives and property.