Severe weather can happen at any time throughout the year. As Indiana moves into warmer months, thunderstorms, flash floods and tornadoes are more likely to occur. It’s important to be prepared in case of a disaster. With March 18-24 recognized as Severe Weather Preparedness Week in Indiana, you should consider working on a plan to keep you and your family safe.

The best way to prepare for harsh weather is by creating a plan for you and your family. The first step is discussing how your family will receive emergency alerts, where you will take shelter, how you will evacuate and how the household will communicate with each other and outside caregivers. Your plan should be written down and made available to every family member. The Federal Emergency Management Agency has an emergency plan you can fill out or use as a guide. Finally, it is vital that you and your household understand and practice your plan.

The American Red Cross also recommends having an emergency preparedness kit. You can find a pre-made kit here or you can prepare one yourself. A basic kit should include:

  • Food and water for three days;
  • Flashlights and extra batteries;
  • First aid kit and any necessary medications;
  • Battery-powered weather radio;
  • Multi-purpose tool;
  • Sanitation and personal hygiene items;
  • Whistle to signal for help; and
  • Cell phone charger and a backup battery.

The National Weather Service issues weather advisories to alert Hoosiers of weather conditions nearby. A watch means conditions are favorable for severe weather, and you should have a plan prepared. A warning means severe weather is likely to occur soon, and you should take action and get to a safe place.

It’s important to be prepared for all types of weather. The Indiana Department of Homeland Security offers resources to help Hoosiers learn more about flooding, lightning, thunderstorms and tornadoes.

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