When severe weather strikes

GREENFIELD — It’s Severe Weather Preparedness Week in Indiana, and the Department of Homeland Security is working to help prepare Hoosier families for disasters.

Indiana experiences some of its worst thunderstorms, tornadoes and flooding incidents during the spring and summer months. Having a plan and being prepared can prevent weather-related deaths and injuries.

Here are tips for protecting your home and loved ones:

1. Create or update a disaster preparedness kit. 

There are several items you should be sure to have in an emergency kit, including food and water for three days, a battery operated all-hazards radio, a flashlight, extra batteries, a first-aid kit, important documents (e.g., copies of a photo ID, Social Security card, insurance and banking information), cash and extra clothing. 

2. Find suitable shelter

Finding shelter is essential in staying safe during a storm or tornado. Permanent homes with basements are best for shelter during a tornado. If you live in a mobile home or a similar structure, identify a safe shelter you and your family can go to in the event of a tornado or storm with strong winds/lightening. If you live in a home or an apartment building without a basement, you should take shelter in the lowest level of the building, away from windows and doors.

If you’re driving when severe weather strikes, don’t take shelter under an overpass. Wind speeds can increase under the structure, which can cause serious injuries. It’s better to take shelter in a low-lying area.

3. Be prepared for floods.

Flooding is costly and dangerous. Homeowners can purchase flood insurance through the National Flood Insurance Program, which is run by the Federal Emergency Management Agency.

Remember, it’s never safe to attempt to cross a flooded road, even if it seems the water is shallow. If a road appears to have standing water on it, find a different route. Don’t try to cross moving water on foot; a few inches of flowing water is enough to knock adults off their feet.

Source: Indiana Department of Homeland Security

Compiled by Samm Quinn

Samm Quinn is a reporter at the Greenfield Daily Reporter. She can be reached at 317-477-3275 or squinn@greenfieldreporter.com.