Indiana has endured 32 tornadoes since August of last year. As a part of Severe Weather Preparedness Week, the Indiana Department of Homeland Security is encouraging Hoosiers to take steps to prepare for tornadoes and participate in the statewide tornado drill on Tuesday, March 21.
The drills will be at 10:10 a.m. and 7:35 p.m. A test of the Emergency Alert System will sound both in the morning and evening on commercial radio, television networks and all-hazard radios. Clinton County Central Dispatch has announced they will be conducting Tornado Siren Testing in conjunction with the Statewide testing. The testing will happen at approximately 10:15 a.m. and 7:35 p.m.
It is a good time for everyone to review a plan in case of severe weather.
We also encourage people to invest in a Weather Radio which will notify you of any severe weather alerts.
Although Indiana has experienced a rash of tornadoes in the last nine months, the statewide tornado drill brings to attention that March, April and May are Indiana’s most severe tornado months. The statewide drills provide an excellent opportunity for families, schools and businesses to practice their weather safety action plan.
At Work or School
Finding suitable shelter is an important aspect to preparing for severe weather, especially tornadoes. Since many Hoosiers will be going about their day during the morning drill, it is important to know where to take shelter at the workplace or school. Check to see if there is a severe weather plan, and locate the designated safety area. If there is no designated location, identify an interior area on the lowest level of the building, away from windows to take shelter.
For those living in homes or apartment buildings, residents should take shelter in the lowest level of the building, away from exterior windows and doors. Permanent structures are best for shelter during a tornado, especially a basement. Knowing which room or area of the home is the safest during a storm can help keep those in the home out of harm’s way.
If living in a mobile home or similar structure, it is important to plan ahead. Manufactured buildings often can’t stand up to the wind speed and pressure, and are not safe shelters during a tornado. Hoosiers living in mobile homes or similar structures should talk to friends, family or neighbors to find a safe shelter in advance.
To stay informed during severe weather situations, it is recommended that all Hoosiers have a working all-hazard (weather) radio in their homes. Ensure that the radio has working backup batteries in the event of a power outage, as the radio might be the only way to receive weather updates.
Some severe storms may occur overnight during normal sleeping hours. As such, it is important to take precautions in advance of severe weather, in the event that immediate action is needed.
- Consider turning up the volume on cell phone notifications. Be familiar with the notification settings of weather apps.
- Have an all-hazards (weather) radio near the bed or sleeping area. Keep the weather radio turned on at a volume loud enough that alerts can be heard while sleeping. Overnight alerts could provide important details about severe weather, with safety precautions to follow.
- If devices such as phones and laptops are charging overnight, be sure they are plugged into a surge protector.
For more severe weather safety tips, visit GetPrepared.in.gov.