Indiana prepares for statewide tornado drill

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FORT WAYNE, Ind. (WOWO): Tuesday is the Statewide Tornado Drill in Indiana.

It’s part of Severe Weather Preparedness Week, and the Indiana Department of Homeland Security is encouraging all Hoosiers to make sure their plans to deal with tornadoes are up to date.

The Emergency Alert System will be activated on radio stations, weather radios, and local TV networks at 10:10am and 7:35pm.

Indiana has endured 32 tornadoes since last August, and tornadoes are most likely to happen during the months of March, April and May.

The Indiana Department of Homeland Security is also taking the time to warn Hoosiers about several tornado-related myths:

Myth #1: Any Building is Safe During a Tornado

Manufactured buildings often can’t stand up to the wind speed and pressure, and are not safe shelters during a tornado. Hoosiers living in mobile homes or similar structures should talk to friends, family or neighbors to find a safe shelter in advance. Permanent structures are best for shelter during a tornado, especially if they have a basement. Interior, lower level rooms away from doors and windows can be an adequate backup plan.

Myth #2: Seek Shelter in an Underpass During Tornadoes

When traveling during a tornado, an underpass is one of the worst places to take shelter. Wind speeds can increase while flowing under the structure, and serious injuries can occur. Seek shelter in a permanent structure (even better if it has a basement). If there is no safe building nearby, look for a depression or ditch that is safely and significantly lower than the level of the roadway. Lie down in that area. Hands and arms should be used to protect the head and neck. If there is no ditch or low areas nearby, park and stay in the car and continue to wear a seatbelt. Lean over to stay below window level. If possible, use hands, blankets or coats to protect the head and neck.

Myth #3: Open Windows Prior to Tornado Strike to Equalize Pressure Inside the House

Opening windows does not help equalize pressure, and spending the time cracking those windows can use up valuable seconds needed to take shelter. When an alert sounds on television, phones or all hazard radios, seek shelter right away.

Be sure to text “NEWS” to 46862 to make sure you’re signed up for WOWO’s Severe Weather Alerts. For more severe weather safety tips, visit GetPrepared.in.gov.

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