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CUYAHOGA COUNTY WANTS YOU TO KEEP SAFE DURING PEAK LIGHTNING SEASON 
Lightning Safety Awareness Week is June 21-27

The Cuyahoga County Office of Emergency Management, in an annual coordinated effort with the National Weather Service and the Ohio Committee for Severe Weather Awareness is promoting June 21-27 as Lightning Safety Awareness Week, and encourages all Cuyahoga County residents to know what to do before, during, and after thunderstorms.

Lightning strikes continue to be one of the most common storm-related killers in the United States. Last year 26 Americans were killed by lightning, none in Ohio.  Historically, as many as ten persons have been injured by lightning for each person killed.

The NWS and Ohio Committee for Severe Weather Awareness also provide the following lightning safety information:
  • Have a lightning safety plan. Know where you’ll go for safety and how much time it will take to get there.
  • Postpone outdoor activities. Before going outdoors, check the weather forecast. Consider postponing activities to avoid being caught in a dangerous situation.
  • Monitor the weather. Look for signs of a developing thunderstorm such as darkening skies, flashes of lightning or increasing wind.
  • Get to a safe place. If you hear thunder, even a distant rumble, move to a safe place.
    • Fully enclosed buildings with wiring and plumbing provide the best protection.
    • Sheds, picnic shelters, baseball dugouts, tents or covered porches DO NOT protect you from lightning. If a sturdy building is not nearby, get into a hard-topped vehicle and close all the windows.
  • Stay in safe shelter at least 30 minutes after you hear the last sound of thunder.
  • Do not use corded, landline phone during thunderstorms. Avoid using corded phones, computers and other electrical equipment that put you in direct contact with electricity.
  • Water pipes conduct electricity. Avoid plumbing – including sinks, baths and faucets.
  • Stay away from windows and doors. Do not lie on concrete floors or lean against concrete walls. 
If caught outside during a thunderstorm with no safe shelter nearby, the following actions may reduce the risk of getting struck by lightning:
  • Do not stay on elevated areas such as hills, mountain ridges, or peaks
  • Do not lie flat on the ground
  • Do not take shelter under an isolated tree
  • Immediately get out of bodies of water such as ponds, lakes, and pools
  • Stay away from objects that conduct electricity (barbed wire, fences, power lines, windmills, etc.) 
For additional information on lightning safety, visit the Ohio Committee for Severe Weather Awareness site at www.weathersafety.ohio.gov or the NWS site at www.lightningsafety.noaa.gov.



OEM Staffs Cleveland EOC for Brelo Verdict

On Memorial Day weekend the Cuyahoga County Office of Emergency Management (OEM) provided staffing assistance and other support to the City of Cleveland following the announcement of the verdict in the Patrol Officer Michael Brelo trial.

OEM personnel were on scene at the Cleveland Emergency Operations Center several hours before the verdict was announced on May 30 and remained through final EOC stand-down on June 1. During that time protest activity remained mostly peaceful and no large-scale disorder occurred.

OEM personnel assisted Cleveland safety officials by coordinating the activities of regional and state agencies. Participating state agencies included the Ohio Emergency Management Agency, the Ohio National Guard, and the Ohio Highway Patrol.

Several ESF primary agencies also provided representatives at the EOC, including the Cuyahoga County Sheriff’s Department, the Cuyahoga County Fire Chief’s Association, the Greater Cleveland Regional Transit Authority, the Cuyahoga Emergency Communications System (CECOMS), the Cuyahoga County Department of Communications, and the Cleveland Department of Public Health. In addition, the Cuyahoga County Department of Public Works, the Cuyahoga County Board of Health and the American Red Cross participated in planning but did not send staff members to the EOC. The Cleveland Metropolitan Housing Authority – an ESF support agency – also provided staff support at the EOC.

Throughout the operational period OEM personnel maintained incident logs on Knowledge Center and WebEOC and ensured that Ohio EMA and Ohio DPS officials were notified of significant events.