Statewide tornado drill set for Tuesday, March 22, 2016

Last Updated on March 21, 2016 by cassnetwork

Indiana sees an average of 22 tornadoes a year. The Indiana Department of Homeland Security is asking Hoosiers to plan ahead for tornado season and participate in the Statewide Tornado Drill on Tuesday, March 22. A test of the Emergency Alert System will sound both in the morning and evening on commercial radio, television networks and all-hazards radios.

The drills will be at 10:15 a.m. and 7:35 p.m. Tuesday, March 22.

The drill, one event that is observed as part of Severe Weather Preparedness Week, brings attention that March, April and May are Indiana’s most severe tornado months, although tornadoes have occurred at all times of the year. The statewide drills provide an excellent opportunity for families, schools and business 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.

At Home

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. Interior, lower level rooms away from doors and windows can be an adequate backup plan. 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.

Stay Aware

To stay informed during severe weather situations, it is recommended that all Hoosiers have a working all-hazards (weather) alert 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 of the 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.

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