COLUMBUS, Ohio (WCMH) — Emergency officials have their eyes on the forecast with wind and storms on the way. They say before you go to bed you should take care of a few last-minute preparations.
Franklin County EMA Director Jeff Young says since a lot of the storm is happening overnight, reaction time and awareness will be delayed when it comes to potential damage and power outages.
“Straight line wind can be as damaging or more damaging as an EF0 or and EF1 tornado. You know you worry about power lines down, you worry about trees coming down, projectiles being picked up, damage to buildings, you know broken glass,” explained Young.
Young says double-check everything is tied down and secure outside your home before bed tonight, especially Christmas decorations and inflatables.
One of the most important things you can do is charge your phone, in case of power outages.
“You still have ways to get information communicate as well as maybe think through where are your flashlights — do your flashlights have fresh batteries in them,” said Young.
AEP says they’re prepared should wind pose a threat overnight.
“We have our crews across the state that are preparing today — their trucks equipment, support staff even down to the accessories to make sure we’re ready to respond,” said Jay Garret with AEP.
He says he doesn’t have an exact number of on call crews but said, “We’ll have everyone available in AEP Ohio ready to respond if we get a significant event it will be an all hands-on deck call to action and we’ll have everyone out until the powers restored.”
Young says be patient and wait to check for any damage when you wake. While it’s dark, don’t go outside to check. There might be live wires down that you can’t see.
“Don’t become part of the problem — there’s nothing you’re going to do at four in the morning, so to think that being patient, it’s difficult, but it is the right action,” said Young.
Both Young and Garret say if you lose power and you see downed wires near your home, treat them as a live wires. Call for help, let the professionals handle it, and stay away.
People can call in outages to AEP 800-672-2231, submit them online and through their app.