Make a plan for severe weather

   The Indiana Department of Homeland Security is encouraging Hoosiers to plan ahead for weather events as part of Severe Weather Preparedness Week, March 18-24.

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   The Indiana Department of Homeland Security is encouraging Hoosiers to plan ahead for weather events as part of Severe Weather Preparedness Week, March 18-24.

   “While many parts of Indiana continue to experience flooding and damage from February, the arrival of spring historically brings a greater threat of severe weather in the region,” said IDHS Director Bryan Langley. “Severe Weather Preparedness Week provides a great reminder of the risks facing Indiana and the steps Hoosiers can take to prepare now – before the storm hits.”

    Planning and preparation can minimize weather-related deaths, injuries and property damage. IDHS encourages Hoosiers to build a preparedness kit, identify shelter and practice emergency plans during this year’s preparedness week. Some ways families can practice during  Severe Weather Preparedness Week are:

   Take household members – quickly but calmly – to the location they would move to in severe weather, ideally a basement. If a basement is not available, go to an interior room on the lowest level with no windows. Storm cellars also offer excellent protection.

   Practice moving under a sturdy table or desk, or covering up with pillows, blankets, coats or a mattress to protect the head and body from flying debris.

   Walk through potential evacuation routes, both from the home and the neighborhood.

   Conduct a family drill in which children pretend to call 911 and calmly talk with an emergency dispatcher (a family member or friend can be on the other end of the line, requesting appropriate information).

   Finding suitable shelter is another important aspect to prepare for severe weather. If living in a mobile home or similar manufactured structure, it is important to locate a safe shelter in advance. For those living in homes or apartment buildings, residents should take shelter in the lowest level of the building, away from windows and doors.

   Ten important items to include in a household disaster kit include:

1. Food and water for three days (include one gallon of water per person, per day)

2. Battery operated all hazard radio (receives more than 60 types of emergency alerts)

3. Flashlight

4. Extra batteries for radio and flashlight, if needed

5. First aid kit

6. Extra clothing, sturdy shoes, rain gear, blankets and personal hygiene items

7. List of emergency phone numbers

8. Important documents (copies of photo ID, social security card, insurance and banking information)

9. Cash (small bills. Power outages can limit ability to use ATMs and credit cards)

10. Special items (baby formula, insulin, life sustaining medication, pet supplies)

    To learn more about preparing for severe weather, visit www.GetPrepared.IN.gov, follow Indiana Department of Homeland Security on Facebook at https://www.facebook.com/IndianaDHS, or @IDHS on Twitter.