VANDALIA, Ohio (WDTN) – A fresh coat of paint now covers one restaurant, but what Vandalia officials won’t gloss over is the storm that damaged it in the first place.
“We definitely pay closer attention,” says Fire Chief Chad Follick.
That restaurant, a Fricker’s off National Road, re-opened since a tornado shattered its windows last fall, but the businesses across the street are now gone.
With the potential for severe weather in the forecast, we wanted to know what Vandalia has learned from its brush with Mother Nature.
After the storm, the city had meetings to review its emergency operations plan. It’s looking into ways to use social media to reach people in the path of the storm.
“We do our best to get out and do public education, explore grant opportunities,” Follick says.
Follick feels his department did a good job responding to the damage, but they found the threat isn’t just during the storm.
“After that storm passes and everybody wants to see how much damage there is and that’s the most dangerous time,” Follick says. “We have buildings ready to collapse and lots of utilities down.”
Montgomery County’s Emergency Management Agency has been warning people all month long during sessions about the danger of storms.
They held the final session Monday at the Kettering/Moraine Branch of the Dayton Metro Library.
They say helping people prepare is the best thing they can do when severe weather is in the forecast.
“If we can get as much of the community prepared as possible that will lessen the impact of the disaster and protect people’s lives,” says Ryan McEwan, Operations Manager for Montgomery County Emergency Management.
Vandalia wants residents to know its sirens are only meant to warn people who are outside. The case is the same for other communities as well.
They say you shouldn’t rely on sirens to notify you of approaching storms. They say the best thing to have is a weather radio.