Marshall County Emergency Management Agency would like to make sure all residents are aware that March 12th through the 18th  has been proclaimed as “Severe Weather Preparedness Week” in Indiana. 

The National Weather Service, in conjunction with local emergency management agencies, the Indiana Department of Homeland Security, the Indiana Department of Education, the Indiana State Police, the Indiana Broadcasters Association, the American Red Cross, and the amateur radio community, will conduct one (1) statewide test of the communications systems on Tuesday, March 14th at 10:15 am (EDT).  The drill will be initiated by a “TEST” Tornado Warning issued by the National Weather Service offices in Indiana, triggering programmed electronic devices.  The “TEST” will be postponed to Wednesday, March 15th if weather conditions warrant it.

Create a Plan, Make a Kit, and Stay Informed:

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 strongly encourage families to include a family emergency communication section as part of their emergency plan and put together a disaster preparedness kit.

            Marshall County IN APP:

You can receive weather alerts including Tornado Watches and Warnings that are issued by the National Weather Service directly to your smartphone by downloading the Marshall County IN APP.  The APP is FREE and can be downloaded by visiting either the APP Store or GOOGLE Play and searching for “Marshall County Indiana”.   The APP is regularly used by the Marshall County Emergency Management Agency to send out additional information that will keep you and your family informed during a severe weather event.

            Warning Sirens:

Outdoor sirens are designed to alert people who are outside that severe weather is imminent and that they should immediately seek shelter indoors.

NOTE:  When activated for severe weather, the sirens emit a “constant” tone for up to 3 minutes.

NOAA All Hazard Alert Radios:

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 notifications 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 periodically to make sure it is receiving properly.

Know the Severe Weather Terms:

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 been sighted or is indicated on radar.

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.

Flood Safety – “Turn Around Don’t Drown”

According to the National Weather Service, more deaths occur each year due to flooding than from any other thunderstorm-related hazards. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention report that over half of all flood-related drownings occur when a vehicle is driven into hazardous flood waters.  It is NEVER safe to drive or walk into flood waters.  

Remember; when you see water across the road turn around don’t drown.

If you would like additional information regarding disaster preparedness, please contact Clyde Avery, Director of the Marshall County Emergency Management Agency at 574-936-3740.

Remember:  Emergency Preparedness is Everyone’s Responsibility.