Indiana residents are encouraged to take a few minutes today to make sure they know what to do in case a tornado strikes. Officials are planning statewide tornado drills this morning and again this evening.
At 10:15 a.m. and 7:35 p.m. EDT, the National Weather Service will test its tornado warning procedures, which will activate Emergency Alert System tests on radio and television stations, as well as tornado sirens in many communities across the state.
The Indiana Department of Homeland Security says there are a few steps you can practice to make sure you’re ready for a tornado. If you’re at work or school, check to see if there is a severe weather plan and know where the designated safety area is. Otherwise, move to an interior area on the lowest level of the building, away from windows.
If you’re at home, go to the basement or lowest level, and move away from exterior windows and doors. Those who live in mobile homes or similar buildings should plan ahead to find a safe and sturdy structure to go to, in the event of a tornado. The IDHS says mobile homes are not safe shelters during a tornado, since they often can’t withstand the wind speed and pressure.
It’s also important to be able to receive notice of severe weather. One of the best ways to do that is to have an all-hazards weather radio in your home near your sleeping area. Also, consider making sure you’re able to receive emergency notifications on your cell phone.
Today’s statewide tornado drill is part of Severe Weather Preparedness Week.