March 19 drill planned during weather preparedness week

Press Release

INDIANAPOLIS — Severe Weather Preparedness Week in Indiana is March 17-23. And the National Weather Service, in conjunction with the Indiana State Police, the Indiana Department of Homeland Security, the Indiana Department of Education, the Indiana Broadcasters Association, the American Red Cross, and Amateur Radio Operators will conduct a statewide test of communication systems on Tuesday, March 19 at 10:15 a.m.
Locally, Columbia City Communications Whitley County Amateur Radio Club, Whitley County ARES, Whitley County Amateur Radio Groups, Whitley County EMA/DHS /RACES, Whitley County Communications, Whitley County Fire Departments, Whitley County Siren Test Group and Whitley County Skywarn will test and monitor the siren and alerting systems throughout Whitley County during the drill.
The scheduled test of Columbia City Early Warning System that would be held normally on Monday, March 18 will be cancelled since the sirens will be tested on Tuesday, March 19.
While the drill will be sent using live TOR EAS coding (Tornado Warning), it is only a test, and will be postponed to Wednesday, March 20 if weather conditions warrant.
As part of NWS efforts to build a Weather Ready Nation, the goal of Severe Weather Preparedness Week is to better educate people about the hazards of severe thunderstorms and tornadoes, and to help everyone be prepared when severe weather occurs. Each day will focus on a different topic:
- Sunday: Kick-Off: Discuss partners’ roles in severe weather
- Monday: Severe Weather Outlooks and Watches: Partners’ roles at the outlook and watch stages of an event
- Tuesday: Warnings: Taking action when warnings are issued (Statewide Tornado Drill Day)
- Wednesday: Response: Partners’ roles in responding to disasters (real-time response)
- Thursday: Recovery: Partners’ roles in the recovery process (days/weeks/months after disaster)
- Friday: Weather Ready Nation: How we are working to build a Weather Ready Nation
- Saturday: Wrap-Up: Importance of preparedness and action during threatening hazards
What should you do at each step as severe weather threatens - outlook (hours to days in advance), watch (minutes to hours in advance), warning (event is threatening now)? Think READY (outlook), SET (watch), GO (warning)!
To help you be ready, find out how to get one tap access to the National Weather Service on your smartphone!
This week, community members are also remindeds to be aware of the underappreciated but deadly dangers of flooding. Go to: https://www.weather.gov/safety/flood to learn more.
The American Red Cross have released a “flood app” for smartphone and tablet users. It provides location-based flood and flash flood watches and warnings from the National Weather Service, as well as the ability to quickly send an “I’m Safe” message to the Red Cross in case loved ones are unable to contact you. Additionally, the application provides access to lifesaving tips on actions to take, shelter locations, and more.

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