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Floyd County

March 19, 2012

Statewide tornado drill is Wednesday

Officials ask residents to take test seriously, practice plan

COLUMBUS — Images of recent tornado destruction are fresh in residents’ minds and serve as an important reminder why communities have tornado sirens and states have annual drills.

On Wednesday, Indiana will participate in its annual drill. The hope is that businesses, families and others will practice getting to a safe place or talk about what they would do if a tornado struck here,

“We just really encourage people to take it seriously,” said Dennis Moats, emergency management director for Bartholomew County.

“Whether you are at work or at home, practice your plan and make certain your children know what to do,” Moats said.

He also encourages people to have a plan for elderly parents, especially those who live alone and are hearing impaired.

During Wednesday’s test, sirens will sound between 10:15 and 10:30 a.m. and again between 7:30 and 7:45 p.m. In case of severe weather, the test will be postponed until Thursday. The drill also will include warning alarms on weather radios and other programmed electronic devices, and TV stations will carry the warning as text along the bottom on the screen.

Moats said sirens sound in the event of real tornadoes each time a new warning is issued. This can mean hearing warning sounds multiple times. Rather than be annoyed at the sirens, Moats encourages people to take the warnings seriously and seek shelter immediately.

The safest place is in a basement. People without a lower level should go to an interior room, closet or bathroom, he said. Moats recommends that people who live in mobile homes seek safer shelter.

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