Is your county ready for winter’s worst?

storm ready

BELLEFONTAINE, Ohio (WDTN) – On a day when the country’s oldest concrete street in Bellefontaine seems more like its coldest, the weather can go from just a drag to a danger.

“What people forget in this situation, it’s the extreme hot and extreme cold that kill more people than tornadoes and severe thunderstorms,” says Kenneth Haydu with the National Weather Service.

Now one county is better prepared to handle anything Mother Nature throws at it.

“We’re just ready in case it goes really bad and we need to step in,” says Logan County EMA Director Helen Norris.

Logan County received its storm ready designation Tuesday from the National Weather Service.

Counties have to meet a number of standards to get the designation — most have to do with the ability to let residents know about weather related dangers.

“The biggest benefit to them is they’re getting notified of situations a lot sooner and they know the officials who are charged with helping out are watching and aware,” Norris says.

But right now only 23 of Ohio’s 88 counties are considered Storm Ready.

We wanted to know why more aren’t.

“Money’s short,” Haydu says. “Sometimes you have to invest a little money to get things up to speed.”

It took Logan County about a decade of work to reach Storm Ready status.

Haydu says the investments are worth it.

“We feel people have a better chance of protecting their property and surviving really adverse weather when it hits their area,” Haydu says.

Other Miami Valley counties that are storm ready are Butler, Auglaize, Mercer, Shelby, and Miami. Sinclair Community College and Wright State University have also qualified for the designation.

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