Are You Prepared For Severe Weather?

Severe weather is prevalent during the spring and summer months in Indiana. Thunderstorms can produce hail, heavy rain, flash floods, lightening, strong winds, and tornadoes that can reach speeds in excess of 300 mph, be more than a mile wide, and cover over 50 miles during destruction. Thunderstorms, flash floods, and tornadoes can appear suddenly with little warning, and may only last a few minutes, but have the strength and power to cause great amounts of damage.
As the area witnessed on March 2, powerful storns can cause loss of property and life in just a moment.
Today (Wednesday), March 21 the National Weather Service (NWS) will be initiating two tornado drills – one in the morning and one in the evening. The warning will sound on all hazards alert radios and the NWS is encouraging local TV and radio broadcasters to also transmit the warning. If foul weather prevents the drills on Wednesday, then the drill will be conducted on Thursday, March 22.
A watch indicates that conditions are favorable for a thunderstorm, heavy rain, flood, or tornado. A warning informs that a thunderstorm, flood, or tornado is occurring or you are in the path of an approaching dangerous storm.
Hoosiers should participate in the drill by checking their radios, flashlights, and go to their safe location. The safe location is an interior space on the lowest level of the home, school, or office as soon as the alert is received. When a severe weather outbreak is forecast in your area, do you have a go bag that also contains your checkbook, medicine, pocketbook, eyeglasses, charged cell phone, and vehicle keys? Do you have a family plan? Do you have friends, neighbors, or relatives that can assist in alerting you?
Duane Davis, Jackson County Emergency Management Agency (EMA) director, encourages county residents take advantage of the county website.
Please visit www.jacksoncounty.in.gov where residents can sign up for community alerts via email or text message. The service is free.
There are several alerts to choose from including – amber, burn ban, flood warning, flood watch, high wind advisory, silver alert, thunderstorm warning, thunderstorm watch, tornado warning, tornado watch, winter storm warning and winter storm watch.
Before severe weather strikes, keep your trees trimmed to avoid falling limbs, park your vehicle in a shelter to avoid damage, have basements waterproofed, make sure your insurance is up to date and what it covers, have a disaster kit, if flooding happens, try to create a barrier between your home and the water.
During severe weather, postpone outdoor activities, listen to weather reports, seek shelter, stay away from trees and metal objects, if in a mobile home get out immediately and shelter in a building with a strong foundation, if caught out in a body of water return to shore.
If evacuating, get to high ground, take pets to a safe location, do not drive or walk through water, take your important papers and prescriptions.
After severe weather seek medical help if needed, stay out of damaged buildings, report damaged utility lines or gas leak, watch out for snakes and stray animals that may show up after a storm.
If you have any questions, please contact Davis of the Jackson County EMA at (812) 358-6110.