Families asked to plan for severe weather season this week

A car sits halfway in a basement at a leveled home near Home Avenue and Hoffer Street. (Kokomo Tribune Photo, file/Kelly Lafferty)

INDIANAPOLIS (WISH) – Before the cleanup or the damage itself comes the warnings and anticipation of severe weather, the season for which will peak April-July in Indiana.

Though severe weather can happen at any time in the state, agencies including the Indiana Department of Homeland Security, the National Weather Service and the American Red Cross have encouraged Hoosiers to participate in Severe Weather Preparedness Week.

The week designed to help residents, school officials and emergency workers to get in the mindset of the severe weather season kicked off Sunday.

WISH-TV Meteorologist Ken Brewer said the week isn’t helpful for just those at home, but also for professionals forecasting and spotting dangerous storms.  He said such practice paid off in November 2013 during one of the state’s largest tornado outbreaks.

“The fact that we had no fatalities here in Indiana is a testament to the warnings that were issued from the National Weather Service that day, storm spotters that we had on the ground and media getting the reports out there,” Brewer said.

During the themed week, a test of the Emergency Alert System will sound in the morning and evening of Thursday, March 20. The test will be seen and heard on radio, television and all-hazards radios.

The Department of Homeland Security in Indiana said the test would provide an opportunity for families, schools and businesses to practice safety action plans.

“Studies have found over the years that if you have a plan, you have a practice, it’s easier for you to take that plan in short notice,” Brewer said. “Obviously, when a warning’s issued, you may not have a lot of time. If you’re used to a routine, you don’t panic as much if you have that routine in place.”

Find more information on how to take advantage of Severe Weather Preparedness Week, click here.

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