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Severe Weather Preparedness Week March 16 – 22

March 14, 2014

Marshall County Emergency Management Agency would like to make sure all residents are aware that March 16th thru the 22nd has been proclaimed as “Severe Weather Awareness Week” in Indiana. 

The National Weather Service, in conjunction with the Indiana State Police, Indiana Department of Homeland Security, Indiana Department of Education, the Indiana Broadcasters Association, the American Red Cross, and the amateur radio community, will conduct a state wide test of the communications systems on Thursday, March 20th between 10:15 am and 10:30 am and again between 7:30pm and 7:45pm (EST).  The drill will be initiated by a “TEST” Tornado Warning issued by the National Weather Service offices in Indiana, triggering programmed electronic devices. 

Every family, every school, and every business should take time now to review or create an emergency plan for how they will respond when severe weather occurs. Having a plan and practicing a plan significantly increases your chances of surviving.

We also encourage families to develop a disaster preparedness kit and emergency communications plan.

Outdoor sirens are designed to alert people who are outside that severe weather is imminent and that they should immediately seek shelter indoors. When activated for severe weather, the sirens emit a “constant” tone for up to 3 minutes.

If you live in an area that does not have an advanced warning system, such as an outdoor siren, we encourage you to purchase a National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) All Hazards Alert Radio.  A NOAA radio is also your best source for receiving advanced notification of severe weather while you are sleeping. In addition to important weather alerts, the “All Hazards Alert” means your monitor will also be able to receive information and announcements regarding other emergencies that occur in your area. 

If you already own a NOAA radio, be sure to replace the batteries and test it to make sure it is receiving properly.

It is very important that you understand and are familiar with weather terminology used, for example:

A Tornado Watch means that conditions are favorable for tornadoes to develop.  In the event that a “Tornado Watch” is issued, you should take precautions to protect you and your property, and listen to the radio or television to stay informed. 

A Tornado Warning means that a tornado has actually been sighted.

If a “Tornado Warning” is issued seek shelter immediately.  If you have a basement, go to the basement. If there is no basement, a small room in the middle of the house (a closet or bathroom) is best. 

If you are in a car or mobile home, seek sturdier shelter immediately!!  Most tornado deaths occur in cars and mobile homes.

Always stay away from outside walls and windows.

For more information on Severe Weather, including tornados, visit the National Weather Service website at

If you would like additional information regarding disaster preparedness, please contact Clyde Avery, Director  of the Marshall County Emergency Management Agency office at 936-3740.

Remember:  Disaster Preparedness is Everyone’s Responsibility.