Two tornado drills are planned Wednesday to give emergency officials, residents, schools and places of business a chance to test and review emergency plans. The drill is part of Severe Weather Preparedness Week, a statewide awareness event held each spring.
National Weather Service Meteorologist Crystalyme Pettet says the devastation the recent tornadoes caused in southern Indiana is a grim reminder of why the drills are important.
“There were warnings out before those tornadoes struck, but lead time is still typically only 10 or 20 minutes sometimes even less than that so you need to actually know what your plan is,” she says.
Pettet says social scientists have proven that after a warning is issued, most people try to double check to make sure the warning is real. But by then, it may be too late to seek safety.
“A lot of people want to go outside and get a visual confirmation of that, but you may not have time. And so we obviously recommend that when we issue a tornado warning, you take action then.”
She also says Hoosiers should not rely on tornado sirens when inside a home or building because sirens are designed to only be heard outside.
Indiana University officials will activate a test drill on each campus throughout the state using IU-Notify. Test messages will be sent to IU faculty, staff and students by e-mail, text message, social media and other online mediums.