With the warmer temperatures arriving, the potential for severe weather exists. Just as you prepare yourself for severe weather, emergency agencies also have a plan of action to help people when severe weather strikes.
Cliff Weaver, Director of the Vanderburgh Emergency Management Agency, says they are working on gearing up public education. The EMA has a program called CERT (Community Emergency Response Team) which is designed to help people protect themselves as well as friends and family during an emergency situation.
Cliff is the newest director of the EMA and is working on new ideas to protect lives. He says that in the future, when the funding becomes available, they will be looking where the population may be changing, due to new subdivisions or schools, and will be adding more tornado sirens in those areas. But, he reminds us that the sirens are designed to be used by people outside - not for those inside their homes.
When storms hit, the potential exists for electricity to go out, meaning computers may not be available, but the EMA is prepared should that happen. All of their spotters are HAM operators and have a workstation in the EMA facility. When severe weather arrives, they have one of their spotters come in to work the radios.
There will be times when you may not always be near a radio or television, such as outside, where you need to be prepared to move indoors to a shelter should storms arrive.
When severe weather isn't in the forecast, that doesn't mean the EMA is taking the day off. They are continuously working on training, moving equipment around, and holding meetings on ways to plan for severe weather.
The state of Indiana is helping everyone prepare for severe weather by conducting a statewide test on emergency communication systems, which is a perfect time to make sure your weather radio is working. A test is scheduled for March 20th between 6:30PM and 6:45PM Central Daylight Time.