|Statewide drills set Tuesday, March 21…. Get prepared for additional severe weather and flooding this spring, summer|
|Written by Administrator|
|Wednesday, 15 March 2017 12:29|
Linda Dawson, director of the Scott County Emergency Management Agency (EMA), is urging residents and businesses to prepare ahead.
“The March 1 storms took many people by surprise. Families, individuals and businesses need to protect themselves from such situations. This county is fortunate few people were injured,” Dawson stated. She said Indiana historically has experienced some of the nation’s worst thunderstorms, tornadoes and flooding during spring months.
Tuesday, March 21, is the annual day on which Hoosiers can practice their weather safety action plans. Statewide tornado drills are scheduled at 10:10 a.m. and at 7:35 p.m., providing storms are not threatening. Families, schools and businesses are all encouraged to participate and become aware how to protect themselves.
Dawson suggested that households, industries and businesses take a three-prong approach to prepare for severe weather.
?Purchase a weather radio. Its label should indicate that it is “all-hazard” and broadcasts alerts from the National Weather Service. Look for NOAA on the label. It stands for National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration. Also look for SAME Technology designation, which allows the radio to be programmed to specific counties and types of alerts.
?Know the difference between watches and warnings. A watch indicates a seriously increased probability of a thunderstorm or tornado. A warning indicates that there is a thunderstorm or tornado in the area.
?Ensure that household members/office staff know which local news media outlets to monitor for severe weather alerts and to take those alerts seriously. Remember that national cable, satellite or streaming TV services may not carry localized weather alerts.
?Create a preparedness kit that includes food and weather for three days and a first aid kit, flashlights, extra batteries, small tools and any other important items that are needed.
?Around the house or building, prune tree limbs and secure outdoor items that could be tossed about in high winds.
?Keep cell phones charged, and ensure all members have several emergency contact numbers of friends and family members programmed in.
?Know which neighbors have disabilities or mobility challenges. Be able to direct First Responders to those who may need extra help.
?Take household members quickly but calmly to the location they would move in severe weather, ideally a basement. If a basement is not available, go to an interior room on the lowest level with no windows. Storm cellars also offer excellent protection.
?Practice moving under a sturdy table or desk or covering up with pillows, blankets, coats or a mattress to protect the head and body from flying debris.
?Walk through potential evacuation routes, both from home and the neighborhood.
?Conduct a family drill at home in which children pretend to call 9-1-1 and calmly talk to an emergency dispatcher. Use a family member or friend so the child knows how to give appropriate and necessary information.
Dawson said flooding is another issue on which residents of Scott County are familiar, especially after heavy downpours.
“Driving on flooded roadways can also place in danger the motorist and his passengers and emergency response personnel who must try to rescue them. Never, ever drive through flood waters, even if you think the water appears shallow. The road could have washed out or its force be stronger than you think. Remember: Turn around, don’t drown!” advised Dawson.
For more information on preparing for severe weather, visit GetPrepared.in.gov.