Kokomo Tribune; Kokomo, Indiana

Local News

March 20, 2014

Being prepared is key in bad weather situations

Tornado sirens to be tested today as part of Severe Weather Awareness Week.

Officials will test the emergency alert system today to kick off Severe Weather Preparedness Week.

As part of the awareness campaign, local, state and national organizations are encouraging Hoosiers to prepare now for thunderstorms, tornadoes and flooding.

While severe weather can strike at any time, volatile weather frequently accompanies the arrival of spring, Janice Hart, director of the Howard County Emergency Management Agency warns.

Historically, Indiana has experienced some of its worst thunderstorms, tornadoes and flooding incidents during the spring months. Planning and preparedness can help minimize weather-related deaths, injuries and property damage, Hart said.

As part of Severe Weather Preparedness Week, a test of the Emergency Alert System will sound Thursday both in the morning and evening on commercial radio, television networks, and all-hazards radios. These drills provide an excellent opportunity for families, schools and businesses to practice their weather safety action plan.

In addition to knowing what to do during a severe weather emergency, it is also important to be prepared in advance. All Hoosiers who are able are encouraged to purchase an all-hazards radio for their home. These battery-powered radios air more than 60 emergency alerts such as hazardous weather and other local area warnings, including up-to-date weather information broadcast directly from the National Weather Service.

People living in Kokomo can purchase a Weather Radio for $9 by stopping in at the Welcome Center on the first floor in City Hall, 100 S. Union St.

Howard County residents are also encouraged to sign up for citizen alerts by going to howardcosheriff.com and clicking citizen alert notification sign up. This system will call, text or email those who sign up to notify them of emergency situations.

Finding suitable shelter is another important aspect to preparing for severe weather, Hart said.

If living in a mobile home or similar structure, it is important to locate a safe shelter in advance. For those living in homes or apartment buildings, residents should take shelter in the lowest level of the building, away from windows and doors.

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