Preparedness week: What’s a severe weather outlook?

This is an archived article and the information in the article may be outdated. Please look at the time stamp on the story to see when it was last updated.

It’s severe weather preparedness week here in central Indiana and your Monday topic of discussion is the severe weather outlook.

Severe weather outlooks begin 7-14 days before a severe weather event even unfolds. Organizations like the National Weather Service and local meteorologists always have an eye on the extended forecast.  If something starts to look a little more alarming, we’ll definitely get you in the loop.

The National Weather Service does this through several different venues on their website. The first is a Hazardous Weather Outlook as pictured below. This can be found by going to their website ( and clicking on your county. If there is weather hazard for your county, it will show up in that red box at the top of the page. Click on the link to read through the risk(s) for your area.

hazardous weather outlookAnd your friends here at Fox 59 will also be posting about any potential severe storm threats several days in advance too.  You can find that information included in our most recent weather blog.  Those are under the weather section of this website.  As you scroll down the page, you’ll see our latest articles. And if you can’t find exactly what you are looking for there, never hesitate to contact a meteorologist on our staff. They are here to help!

So what does all this mean to you? Here’s a little check list:

  • Have a plan. Encourage others around you to have a severe weather plan.
  • Assemble a disaster kit.  Don’t know what you need? Check out the list below.
  • Review your safety plan
  • Check your NOAA Weather Radio to ensure it has fresh batteries

Severe Weather Safety Kit  (Directly from the NWS website):

  • Disaster Supply Kit
    You should store your emergency supplies as close to your shelter as possible. What should be in that kit? Check out this link from the Indiana Department of Homeland Security: Emergency Kit Supplies
  • Battery Operated Weather Radio
    You will want to be able to monitor the latest information directly from your National Weather Service.
  • A Map to Track Storms
    You will need to be able to track the progress of the storm. Since warning texts include county names, a county outline map of your area is a great thing to keep handy. You might also keep a state highway map, which includes most of the cities and towns referred to in NWS warnings and statements. Make sure you know what county you live in and where your town is located within the county.
  • Battery Operated TV and/or Radio
    This will allow you to monitor news and severe weather information. Radios that offer TV audio can be helpful.
  • Shoes
    This will be very important if your home is damaged and you must walk across broken glass or other debris!
  • Indentification
    You may need identification to move around in the area should significant damage occur.
  • Your Car Keys
    If your car is drivable, you will need the keys to be able to use it. It’s a good idea to keep an extra set in your shelter area.
  • Cell Phone
    If there is phone service, you will certainly want your phone. However, remember that cell phone service may be interrupted after a tornado or other disaster!

county map