Severe weather awareness: Get your plan ready!

NOW: Severe weather awareness: Get your plan ready!

This week is severe weather awareness week for the state of Indiana, so now, while it's relatively quiet across Michiana, is the time to come with a severe weather plan or refresh your memory with the plan you had last year. And we've already had our fair share of tornadoes as a country, especially throughout this month! So far, the United States has already had 125 tornadoes, with 82 of them in March alone! Unfortunately, we've had way too much loss of life thanks to the twisters as well. 24 deaths have resulted from those tornadoes, where there were only 10 for all of 2018. So, definitely not a good start!

And we even had a round of severe weather last Thursday here in Michiana that produced multiple severe thunderstorm warnings. Plenty of wind and hail reports dotted the northwestern side of Michiana with a few reports of downed tree limbs scattered in there too. There was even one confirmed tornado, just to the west of us in southwestern Lake County! It was a weak EF-0 tornado with estimated peak winds of 80 to 85 mph that moved through the Lowell, Indiana area. It was the earliest tornado in lake county since March 12, 1976!

Everyone be aware that there is a tornado siren test for all of Indiana tomorrow starting at 10:15 am. And it's important to note that there is no severe weather expected at all tomorrow, so don't be thrown off. And it'll be a good time tomorrow, or really any day this week, to practice your safety plan with your family.

Anytime we're expecting severe weather and you hear the tornado sirens go off, you need to get to a strong structure, like your home or apartment. Go to the lowest level of your home, like your basement! If you don't have a basement, put as many walls between and the outside as possible, so an interior closet or bathroom would work well. Once you get to that spot, you'll want to get low and cover your head and neck with your hands. It's also not a bad idea to grab extra pillows, blankets, couch cushions or anything to provide extra padding for yourself and your family in case there's falling debris. Make sure everyone knows the plan so everyone stays ready in case more severe weather comes our way.

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