Severe weather more likely this time of year; EAS test scheduled Thursday Print
Written by Marty Randall   
Tuesday, 17 March 2015 10:29

Severe weather in Indiana is more prevalent in the early spring and summer, so Indiana Governor Mike Pence has proclaimed this week “Severe Weather Week” in Indiana.

Local Emergency Management Agency (EMA) Director Linda Dawson said that her office is prepared to assist local law enforcement and health department personnel should a natural or man-made disaster strike in Scott County.

She noted that the Scott County EMA conducts weekly tests of its emergency siren every Wednesday at 12 noon.

A test of the state’s Emergency Alert System (EAS) is scheduled for some time between 10 and 10:30 a.m. and between 7:30 and 8 p.m. this Thursday, March 19, throughout the state via commercial radio stations and television channels and all hazards radio. Listeners will hear the EAS’s distinctive signal sound during these drills.

It’s also the day that all students in Indiana schools will practice tornado drills.

While such tests and drills are necessary, local residents should also take more steps to ensure their families’ safety.

“Severe weather can hit our county at any time and can be unpredictable. Everyone should protect their families and themselves by making and practicing a plan if severe weather happens. Families should also put together a portable emergency kit and stock some basic supplies,” Dawson advised.

“We’ve all experienced lightning storms and flooding. Some have also lived through tornadoes and straight line wind storms that have caused destruction in our county. It’s just easier to take these situations in stride if you have a plan and a kit at your disposal,” the EMA director explained.

Ten items that should be in the basic survival kit include:

•Food and water for three days. Include one gallon of water per person per day.

•A battery-operated all hazards radio. It airs more than 60 types of emergency alerts.

•A couple of working flashlights.

•Extra batteries for the radio and flashlights.

•A first aid kit.

•Extra clothing, sturdy shoes, blankets and personal hygiene items.

•A list of emergency phone numbers.

•Important documents such as personal IDs, banking information, insurance policies and immunization records.

•Some cash in small bills. Power outages can limit the use of credit cards and ATMs.

•Items that will fill special needs, such as medicines, baby formula and diapers, pet food and the like.

Crank-operated radios and flashlights can be invaluable to those isolated by outages or disasters.

For more information to help with kits and the selection of items, go to Getprepared.in.gov.

Finding proper shelter during storms that threaten well-being is also essential, said Dawson. “Do not remain in a mobile home; leave as soon as you can and seek shelter in a permanent building, especially if that building has a basement.

Those in multi-level homes or apartment buildings should go to the lowest level available,” she stated. Stay away from windows and doors.

Flooding is also an issue with which Scott County residents are familiar. Never disregard posted warning signs and drive through flooded roadways. Always be aware of water’s power. Even a small creek can present a threat and push or carry a vehicle away.

The Federal Emergency Management Administration (FEMA) has a website at www.FloodSmart.com that can help homeowners whose residences are threatened by water.

Indiana Severe Weather Week is a partnership between the Indiana Public Safety Commission, Indiana Department of Education, Indiana Department of Transportation, Indiana Broadcasters Association and the Indiana Department of Homeland Security as well as the National Weather Service, the American Red Cross, local EMAs across the state and the amateur radio community.