INDIANA — It is Severe Weather Preparedness week in the state of Indiana. Now is a good time to prepare for the upcoming severe weather season and remind yourself of your safety plans.

What to do leading up to a severe weather event

Having a plan of action means having ways to receive warnings NOW: Download the Wx Authority App, set up alerts to send straight to your phone, have a weather radio and listen to the outdoor sirens.

  • Store important documents in a waterproof, fireproof safe or box 
  • These documents include birth certificates, social security cards, passports, and other documents you may need 
  • Have a plan of action for all places. Do you know where to go when you are at your job or at the supermarket? It is good to be aware of those on any given day. 
  • Know where a safe place is 
  • Go to the lowest level of the building you are in, to the most interior room away from exterior walls and windows, you want to put as many walls between you and the outside 

Watches are issued when conditions are favorable for severe weather. These are typically issued several hours in advance.

What should you do when a watch is issued? Make sure your phone alerts are TURNED ON so warnings can be sent straight to your phone. Turn your weather radio on. Review your safety plan.  

What to do during a warning

When warnings are issued, this means there is an imminent threat of severe weather. The National Weather Service will issue warnings. This is when you need to take action. 

The statewide tornado drill is planned for 10:15 a.m. Tuesday. This is when you should practice your safety plan and work on any issues now before the severe weather season.

  • Seek shelter in the safe place of the building you are in 
  • Call family and friends to let them know where you are 
  • Stay up-to-date with the latest information 

Stay in your designated safe place until the warning is cleared from your area. You will also need to monitor the severe weather threat in case another warning gets issued. 

Here are some tips on what to do after a disaster

  • Stay home or in your safe place if you can
  • If your home is not damaged, stay inside
  • Avoid possible hazards such as downed power lines or downed trees
  • Check on your family and friends over the phone
  • Check-in through all modes of contact
  • Allow for crews to clean up and restore lost power

How to report storm damage after severe weather

f you post a picture or video on social media, you can tag your local National Weather Service Office. If you’re not on social media, you can email your pictures to your local office as well.

What should you include in the damage report?

  • The location of the damage
  • The time when the damage occurred
  • A description of the damage as best as you can

There is a form that can be used on the National Service website to put all the details in to send to your local office as well.

As a reminder, you should not assume a tornado caused damage because straight-line winds can also cause extensive damage.