INDIANAPOLIS -- To focus attention on the threats posed by tornadoes and thunderstorms, Gov. Mitch Daniels has proclaimed March 2-8, 2008, as Severe Weather Preparedness Week.
The National Weather Service will conduct a statewide test of communication systems Wednesday, March 5, between 10:30-11 a.m., and between 7-7:30 p.m.
Friday, March 7, is the make-up drill day if weather postpones the original date. These tests should be used as times to practice a plan.
The goal of Severe Weather Preparedness Week is to better educate citizens about the hazards of severe thunderstorms and tornadoes, and to help everyone be prepared should severe weather take place.
The Indiana Department of Homeland Security (IDHS) recently offered tips during times of severe weather, including:
Tornado Safety Tips
* Basements, inner rooms of a house and storm cellars provide the best protection,
* State away from exterior walls, windows and doors. Stay in the center of the room,
* If in a car, do not attempt to outrun a tornado because it may switch direction and can cover lots of ground quickly,
* Get out of a vehicle and go to a strong building if possible. If not, lie flat in a ditch or a low area,
* Do not go under overpasses. Wind speeds actually increase under overpasses,
* If living in a mobile home, get out immediately. Take shelter in a building with a strong foundation, and
* Listen to radio or watch television in order to be alerted about a current situation.
Thunderstorm Safety Tips
* If a thunderstorm is coming, postpone or cancel outdoor activity,
* Do not go near tall trees or any other tall objects,
* Seek shelter inside a building or in a hardtop vehicle, but don't touch any of the metal inside,
* Do not use the telephone. Stay away from other electronic devices, bare metal and water,
* Do not go near downed power lines,
* Keep an eye on the sky as well as listen to weather reports on the radio or TV,
* If caught out in the middle of a large body of water, return to shore as soon as possible. Get off the water immediately, and
* If caught out in the middle of an open field and walking with others, stay a minimum of 10 feet apart. Also, keep low and move quickly to seek shelter. If there is no shelter, lay in a ditch or get to the lowest place around.
For more information about preparedness for severe weather and other emergencies, go to www.in.gov/dhs/3638.htm.