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Pam Tickle
Training/Grants Manager


What's New

Thursday, March 16, 2017

Statewide Tornado Drill Held Wednesday, March 22, 2017 AT 9:50 a.m.

Part of Ohio’s Spring Severe Weather Awareness Week, March 19-25, 2017

Franklin County Emergency Management and Homeland Security (FCEM&HS) is urging the community to participate in the Statewide Tornado Drill at 9:50 a.m. on Wednesday, March 22, 2017 when the Franklin County Outdoor Warning Siren System will be activated. The sirens will be activated one time for three minutes – a longer tone than in the regular Wednesday noon tests. The test tone will be the same “tornado warning” tone which would be used in an actual tornado warning.

The 9:50 a.m. March 22nd siren activation will be in place of the regular weekly Wednesday noon test of the Franklin County Outdoor Warning Siren System. 

For more information on how to participate in the tornado drill click here. An online participation survey can be accessed above by clicking on Statewide Tornado Drill Participation Survey.

“The annual Statewide Tornado Drill is the perfect opportunity for schools, businesses and families to discuss and practice their emergency plan,” said Jeffrey J. Young, Director, Franklin County Emergency Management & Homeland Security.  “Regardless of where you are, it’s important to know what to do and where to go when severe weather strikes.” 

The drill is part of Ohio’s Spring Severe Weather Awareness Week, March 19th-25th, to remind the public that with spring comes the possibility of tornadoes, thunderstorms, floods, hail, lighting strikes, and power outages. 

NOTE: In an actual tornado warning: FCEM&HS will activate the entire Franklin County Outdoor Warning Siren System as soon as the National Weather Service issues a tornado warning for any part of Franklin County. All 196 sirens in the system will be activated even if the warning area covers only part of the county. The sirens will remain activated for as long as the warning is in effect but will not sound continuously – they will sound for three minutes at a time, then be silent for a seven-minute rest period, then repeat this cycle until the warning is cancelled. NWS will issue a tornado warning for an area when a tornado is spotted or radar indicates a tornado is imminent.

FCEM&HS, a government agency serving 42 local jurisdictions in Franklin County, coordinates countywide emergency and disaster planning, education, warning, response and recovery.



The State Emergency Response Commission (SERC) requires that each county within the state of Ohio establish a Local Emergency Planning Committee (LEPC). The LEPC for Franklin County chose the name "The Chemical Emergency Preparedness Advisory Council" (CEPAC). The emergency coordinator for CEPAC is Franklin County Emergency Management and Homeland Security. The information coordinator for CEPAC is Columbus Public Health. 

ORC 3750.04(C), Section .04(C) states that the LEPC shall conduct an exercise of its Plan annually.

CEPAC must conduct one hazardous materials exercise per annual exercise year. The SERC defines the annual exercise year to be the State Fiscal Year (SFY) which is July 1st through June 30th. The rule identifies that there is a recurring, four-year exercise cycle.

During the four-year period CEPAC is required to:

  • Complete at least one full-scale exercise; the remaining three years can be any type of exercise including additional full-scale exercises based upon local program need.
  • Activate and evaluate the county’s Emergency Operations Center (EOC).
  • Demonstrate, at a minimum, the number of objectives needed per exercise.
  • Consider no more than two actual incidents for exercise credit in the four-year cycle.
  • Include local emergency response and medical personnel in each exercise.
  • Develop an exercise scenario that will involve either a facility that is subject to the county’s hazardous materials plan or a transporter of hazardous materials as defined by regulations adopted under the “Hazardous Materials Transportation Act.”  
About the Exercise Program

In 2011, FCEM&HS began implementing a regional, integrated Training & Exercise Strategy and Program focused on building response and recovery capabilities tied to identified risks in the region.  The Strategy provides holistic guidance for emergency management and homeland security training and exercise planning and programming within the region.

FCEM&HS will provide exercise and training event tracking capabilities to all system users to help coordinate and de-conflict exercises and trainings region-wide and build region-wide agency collaboration and achieve cost efficiencies (e.g., consolidation of trainings and exercises of common interest).

This regional Training & Exercise Strategy is supported by all County Emergency Management Agencies of the Columbus Metropolitan Statistical Area (MSA) (Delaware, Fairfield, Franklin, Licking, Madison, Morrow, Pickaway, Hocking, Perry and Union counties).

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