Severe Weather and Flood Safety Preparedness Week: March 15-21, 2015

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Governor Mike Pence has proclaimed March 15 through 21, 2015 as Severe Weather Preparedness Week in Indiana.

The National Weather Service, in conjunction with the Indiana State Police, the Indiana Department of Homeland Security, the Indiana Department of Education, the Indiana Broadcasters Association, the American Red Cross, and Amateur Radio Operators will conduct a statewide test of communication systems on Thursday, March 19 at 10:15 AM and 7:35 PM EDT.

Important - while the drill will be sent using live TOR EAS coding (Tornado Warning), it is only a test, and will be postponed to Friday, March 20 if weather conditions warrant.

As part of NWS efforts to build a Weather Ready Nation, the goal of Severe Weather Preparedness Week is to better educate people about the hazards of severe thunderstorms and tornadoes, and to help everyone be prepared when severe weather occurs. Each day will focus on a different topic:

  • Sunday: Kick-Off: Discuss Partners' roles in Severe Weather
  • Monday: Severe Weather Outlook: Partners' roles at the Outlook stage of an event
  • Tuesday: Watch: Partners' roles in the Watch stage of an event
  • Wednesday: Everyone's roles in Warnings: Taking action when Warnings are issued 
  • Thursday: Response: Partners' roles in responding to disasters (real-time response)
  • Friday: Recovery: Partners' roles in the recovery process (days/weeks/months after disaster)
  • Saturday: Wrap-Up: Importance of preparedness and action during threatening hazards

Please read our Preparedness Week brochure (2.4MB pdf) for details.  Click here (6.4MB pdf) for a kids' activity booklet from the Indiana Department of Homeland Security.

2015 brings milestone anniversaries for two historic Indiana tornado outbreaks - the deadliest outbreak in Indiana history (137 fatalities), the Palm Sunday Outbreak of April 11, 1965, and the most prolific outbreak in state history (37 tornadoes), the June 2, 1990 tornado outbreak.  Additionally, the single deadliest tornado in US history (695 fatalities), the Tri-State Tornado of March 18, 1925, which ended in southwest Indiana, reaches its 90th anniversary this year.  Major tornado outbreaks can and will happen again in the future - staying weather aware and prepared, and knowing what to do when severe weather strikes can save your life!

What should you do at each step as severe weather threatens - outlook (hours to days in advance), watch (minutes to hours in advance), warning (event is threatening now)?  Think READY (outlook), SET (watch), GO (warning)!

severe weather prep graphic - click for pdf
Severe Weather Prepareness (click image for pdf)

The week of March 15-21, 2015 is also National Flood Safety Awareness Week.  Click the "Turn Around, Don't Drown!" barriers below to learn more.

Turn Around, Don't Drown!Turn Around, Don't Drown!Turn Around, Don't Drown!Turn Around, Don't Drown! 

Our partners at the American Red Cross have released a new "flood app" for smartphone and tablet users.  It provides location-based flood and flash flood watches and warnings from the National Weather Service, as well as the ability to quickly send an "I'm Safe" message to the Red Cross in case loved ones are unable to contact you.  Additionally, the application provides access to lifesaving tips on actions to take, shelter locations, and more.  Click here to see it and other Red Cross safety applications designed to help you prepare for and respond to life-threatening weather emergencies and other hazards.

As part of NWS efforts to build a Weather Ready Nation with our partners and the public, severe weather preparedness efforts have also gone national in recent years.  Click the image below to learn more about what YOU can do to "Be a Force of Nature."

Be a Force of Nature

Destruction of Griffin, IN by Tri State Tornado of 1925 Elkhart Tornado Palm Sunday 1965 Tornado at Loogootee, June 2, 1990

Ruins of Griffin, IN, March 25, 1925

Elkhart, IN Tornado, April 11, 1965

Loogootee, IN Tornado, June 2, 1990

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