The Dubois County Emergency Management Agency encourages citizens to prepare now for severe weather, thunderstorms, tornadoes and flooding as part of Severe Weather Preparedness Week.

Local, state and federal organizations will advocate for preparedness this week through March 30.

Observing weather patterns first-hand can be useful in preparing for severe weather. Joe Sullivan is the warning coordination meterologist at the National Weather Service. He does weather spotter training in the Dubois County area, which was held earlier this month in Jasper. He says having local weather spotters is vital for accurate reporting and warnings.

While severe weather can strike at any time, volatile weather frequently accompanies the arrival of spring. According to the National Weather Service, Indiana has experienced some of the worst thunderstorms, tornadoes, and flooding incidents during the spring months.

First responders say planning and preparedness can help minimize weather related deaths, injuries, and property damage.

As part of Severe Weather Preparedness Week, a test of the Emergency Alert System will sound twice tomorrow, once between 10:00-10:30 a.m. eastern time and again between 7:30-8:00 p.m. eastern time on commercial radio, television networks, and all hazards radios. These drills provide opportunities for families, schools, and businesses to practice their weather safety action plan.

Also in order to be prepared, The Department of Homeland security encourages all citizens to prepare or update a disaster preparedness kit.

The state department suggests ten important items to include in your family’s disaster kit:

  • Food and water for three days (includes one gallon of water per person, per day)
  • Battery operated all hazards radio
  • Flashlight
  • Extra batteries for radio and flashlight
  • First aid kit
  • Extra clothing, sturdy shoes, rain gear, blankets, and personal hygiene items
  • List of emergency phone numbers
  • Important documents (copies of photo ID, social security card, insurance and banking information)
  • Cash (Small bills. Power outages can limit ability to use ATMs and credit cards)
  • Special items (baby formula, insulin, life sustaining medication)

To find out more about preparing for severe weather and floods, visit getprepared.in.gov.