National Weather Service United States Department of Commerce

March 14-20, 2021 is 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 Tuesday, March 16 at 10:15 AM EDT/9:15 AM CDT.

Important - while the drill will be sent using live TOR EAS coding (Tornado Warning), it is only a test, and will be postponed to Wednesday, March 17 if weather conditions warrant.  (NWS Wilmington, OH will send the test for their Indiana counties using the RWT coding, per an agreement with their Cincinnati broadcast market partners)

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 Outlooks and Watches: Partners' roles at the outlook and watch stages of an event
  • Tuesday: Warnings: Taking action when warnings are issued (Statewide Tornado Drill Day)
  • Wednesday: Response: Partners' roles in responding to disasters (real-time response)
  • Thursday: Recovery: Partners' roles in the recovery process (days/weeks/months after disaster)
  • Friday: Weather Ready Nation: How we are working to build a Weather Ready Nation
  • Saturday: Wrap-Up: Importance of preparedness and action during threatening hazards

Please read our Preparedness Week newsletter for details.  Click here (6MB pdf) for a kids' activity booklet from the Indiana Department of Homeland Security.

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)!

To help you be ready, find out how to get one tap access to the National Weather Service on your smartphone!  Also, click here to learn more about Wireless Emergency Alerts, an important way that NWS provides location-based alerts to your smartphone for Tornado Warnings, Flash Flood Warnings, and more.

Flood Threats Often Overlooked

This week, we also remind Hoosiers to be aware of the underappreciated but deadly dangers of flooding.  The majority of flood deaths are completely preventable and occur as a result of people driving into flood waters.  Click the "Turn Around, Don't Drown!" barriers below to learn more.  Click the flood safety image to see a Turn Around, Don't Drown PSA on YouTube.

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

 

 

Indiana suffered the third most flood fatalities of any state in the US last year, with six.  All occurred in the dark early morning hours of March 20, 2020, when two vehicles sadly went into a creek near Laurel, Indiana after flood waters washed out a rural bridge overnight.  Click the image below for US flood fatality statistics for 2020.

 

 

Our partners at the American Red Cross have released an "emergency app" for smartphone and tablet users.  It provides location-based severe weather alerts 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."