UNDATED – The Indiana Department of Homeland Security (IDHS) encourages Hoosiers to plan now for extreme weather as Indiana recognizes Severe Weather Preparedness Week (March 14-20), as proclaimed by Governor Eric Holcomb.
“Indiana has seen numerous destructive storms over the years, and Severe Weather Preparedness Week serves as a reminder for individuals to prepare,” said Steve Cox, executive director of IDHS. “Taking the time to plan, prepare and practice can help minimize weather-related deaths, injuries, and property damage, especially with the increased potential for thunderstorms, tornadoes, and flooding in Indiana during the spring and early summer.”
As part of the week, a statewide tornado drill is planned for 10:15 a.m. on Tuesday, March 16. Residents should not be startled when emergency sirens are sounded. This drill provides a valuable opportunity for families, schools, and businesses to practice severe weather emergency plans.
Some ways families can practice during the statewide tornado drill are:
- Take household members – quickly but calmly – to the location they would move to in severe weather, ideally a basement. If a basement is not available, go to an interior room with no windows on the lowest level. Storm cellars also offer excellent protection.
- Practice moving under a sturdy table or desk, or covering up with pillows, blankets, coats or a mattress to protect the head and body from flying debris.
- Walk through potential evacuation routes, both from the home and the neighborhood.
- Conduct a family drill, during which children pretend to call 911 and calmly talk with an emergency dispatcher (a family member or friend can be on the other end of the line, requesting appropriate information).
Finding suitable shelter is a vital step prior to severe weather. If living in a mobile home or similar manufactured structure, it is important to locate a safe shelter in advance. For those living in homes or apartment buildings, residents should take shelter in the lowest level of the building, away from windows and doors.
Flooding also threatens Hoosiers during the spring months. Driving on flooded roadways can often place Hoosiers and emergency response personnel in unnecessary danger. Never drive through flooded roadways, even if the water appears shallow. The road may have washed out under the surface of the water.