2 statewide tornado drills to take place Tuesday, March 21

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Kokomo tornado from 2016

INDIANAPOLIS, Ind. – Two statewide tornado drills will take place on Tuesday, as part of Severe Weather Preparedness Week.

During the drills, the National Weather Service will send a tone alerted warning message over NOAA Weather Radios. The first test will be at 10:15 a.m. and the second test will be at 7:35 p.m.

The earlier test is primarily for the benefit of school participation and the majority of the workforce who are at their place of employment at that time. The later test will allow families the opportunity to practice their own personal safety measures within their home.

The Marion County Emergency Management Agency will also be setting off the outdoor warning sirens.

“It can be clear one minute and the next there are rotating winds and rotating clouds. You just have to be prepared for that in Indiana,” said Dennis Peters of Marion County Emergency Management.

The purpose of these tests is to allow each county to test the warning sirens in a simulated emergency situation and to provide the opportunity for businesses and schools to test their procedures for severe weather incidents.

NWS Indiana averages 20-21 tornadoes a year. Indiana had 35 tornadoes in 2016 alone. Tornadoes occur year round but are most likely from April to June.

The tornado sirens can be set off by law enforcement if they spot funnel clouds in the area or for other large-scale emergencies in the county. Not all counties use tornado sirens, so your best bet is to get a severe weather radio.

Because warning sirens are for outdoor warnings only, authorities are encouraging the public to prepare a severe weather kit that includes a NOAA Weather Radio.