Weather spotter seminar signals severe weather season

Authored by Jim Langham on Mar 11, 2013

With the melting of snow and increasing of spring temperatures, it’s time to be prepared for severe weather season in Adams County again, says Adams County Emergency Management director John August.
August announced that the annual weather spotter seminar combining Adams and Wells county residents would be held at Adams Central at 6:30 p.m. this Thursday evening.
August said that this year’s event would be unique in the fact that it will be broadcast online from the National Weather Service, with opportunities for dialogue and questions with weather officials presenting the material.
“This seminar will contain all of the information needed to be a storm spotter and to become familiar with spring severe weather conditions,” said August. “This is a public event. Anyone is welcome to attend.
“We are looking for new people to assist with the local Homeland Security Department in general,” noted August. “We are always happy to get all of the volunteers that we can get.”
August pointed out that the massive tornado that went through southern Indiana and wiped out much of the town of Henryville last March occurred in the first week of March.
“Even though it’s been tame so far, and there doesn’t appear to be any violent weather in the near future, things can change so rapidly this time of the year,” August said. “It’s not too early at all to start taking things seriously. Some of the most severe weather has occurred in the last half of March and first half of April.”
August suggested that local residents start giving attention to such items as trimming away any potential brush that could fall on cars or houses and when making a disaster kit, make sure that you can take it with you in case of evacuation.
“If hail or strong winds are reported, park your vehicle under a shelter to avoid damage,” observed August.
“During severe weather, postpone or cancel outdoor activities and listen to weather reports on radio or television,” August said. “Seek shelter inside a building or a hardtop vehicle, but do not touch the metal inside. Do not go near tall trees or any other tall objects or near down power lines.”
August said that those in a vehicle are encouraged to go into a strong building if possible. If not, lie in a flat ditch or low area and cover your head. Be aware of low-lying areas that might flood.
“If you live in a mobile home, get out immediately,” said August. “Take shelter in a building with a strong foundation.”
In the case where evacuation is necessary, evacuate your house and get to higher ground, August stressed. Know your town and make sure you know alternate escape routes in case one is blocked.
“Take pets with you if you evacuate. However, many shelters usually do not allow pets inside due to sanitary conditions, so plan accordingly,” observed August.
“Do not try to drive through water. As little as a few inches of moving water can wash most cars away with the current,” continued August. “Do not go through water rushing over a roadway on foot. As little as a few inches can knock you off your feet.”

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