Newspaper pages and television screens have been filled with images of destroyed homes after a massive and powerful tornado ripped its way through Moore, Okla., Monday afternoon, May 20.
The tornado ranked as an EF5 on the Enhanced Fujita scale, with wind speeds in excess of 200 miles per hour. An EF-5 is the top of the scale.
The tornado, which some believe was one to two miles wide and was on the ground for more than 40 minutes, left 25 dead, including several children. Two schools, along with hundreds of homes, were destroyed.
Tornadoes can, and do, hit Northwest Ohio, including:
•An EF2 tornado damaged 22 homes south of Delta on June 5, 2010.
•A tornado damaged homes along St. Rt. 2 north of Pettisville the afternoon of July 12, 1992.
•An EF-4 tornado went through Van Wert on Nov. 11, 2002. Two persons died, 43 homes and five businesses were destroyed. A movie theater manager moved patrons into a bathroom before the storm hit. After it passed, a car was discovered in the auditorium.
Since no area is immune to tornadoes, being prepared is important. Pick out a safe place in your home such as a basement, bathroom, or interior room with no windows. Keep a flashlight, first aid kit, and portable radio (with fresh batteries) handy, and preferably, a weather radio.
If you live in a manufactured home, find a safe shelter.
Most importantly, when the National Weather Service issues a tornado watch and/or warning, be prepared to act quickly.
We may not live in “Tornado Alley,” but we need to be prepared.