March 15 – 21, 2015 is Severe Weather Awareness Week in Indiana. As we come to the end of another typically cold and snowy winter in central Indiana, it’s easy to think that weather worries are behind us as well, but that couldn’t be further from the truth. The spring season in central Indiana brings severe weather that is different, but no less dangerous.

Indiana Spring Weather Threats

  • severe thunderstorms
  • flash flooding (caused by snow melt and/or heavy rains)
  • hail
  • straight-line winds
  • and or course, tornadoes

The best way to prepare for and protect yourself and your family against these weather threats is to create a plan and practice it. Severe weather could strike when the whole family is at home, but it is more likely that you will be scattered at work, school, outdoor activities, etc. Everyone needs to know the proper procedures for any circumstances.

Statewide tornado drills scheduled for Thursday, March 19, provide an excellent opportunity to practice!

Plan for Severe Weather At Home

Identify the safest room in your home in case a tornado would strike. Some homes are equipped with a “saferoom,” but if yours is not, you have other options. If you have a basement, that is the safest place to be during a tornado. If not, identify the most centrally located room of the first floor of your home. Ideally, the room would be small and windowless. A closet, a bathroom, or hallway might serve you well. If you are in the path of a severe storm, especially if the storm has been identified as potentially causing tornadoes, go to this safe area of your home and stay there until the threat has passed. Do not wait until the storm is right on top of you — it may be too late!

Don’t waste valuable time messing with windows. Opening them will not help and may actually make you more vulnerable to the dangerous wind and debris. You are better off using that time to get to safety. You should, however, close doors behind you as you make your way to your safe area. The more barriers you can put between yourself and the storm, the more protected you will be against wind and debris.

Residents of mobile homes should be especially vigilant in watching for and planning for threatening weather, and when the conditions are likely, try to seek shelter elsewhere. Many manufactured housing communities have a centrally located, permanent structure where residents can seek shelter during threatening weather.
If you are home when a hailstorm occurs, stay inside and away from windows, which could be broken by the hailstones. Avoid skylights and doors.

When severe weather strikes, move cars, RVs, boats, lawn furniture, etc, under cover, but ONLY IF TIME PERMITS.
Proper care and maintenance of trees on your property can help prevent structure damage caused by falling limbs. Have your trees (especially those nearest your home) pruned by a professional.

Planning for Severe Weather Outdoors

If severe weather strikes while you are outdoors (in the park, at a baseball game, etc) when severe weather strikes, if at all possible, seek shelter. Even though tornadoes can strike with little or no warning, the conditions that can produce them are often very apparent. If you have outdoor plans or work outdoors, listen to the forecast and know when conditions are potentially dangerous and have a plan.

Don’t ever try to outrun a tornado — on foot or in a vehicle. If you are in a car when a tornado is spotted, leave your vehicle and seek a safe area immediately. Of course, if you can get indoors, that is ideal, but if not, seek a low area — like a ditch. Get down on the ground — make yourself as low as possible, and cover you head and neck with your hands. Avoid overpasses and bridges — you are actually safer in an open, flat area than under such a structure.

Landscape Solutions Emergency Response Services

At Landscape Solutions, several members of our staff have been trained to assist local police and fire departments in times of emergency. If disaster strikes and first responders are overwhelmed, our team members can provide immediate assistance to those in need.

As part of our local emergency response team, our staff members have received specialized training through CERT (Community Emergency Response Team.) The goal of CERT is to educate people about disaster preparedness and train them in basic response skills, such as fire safety, light search and rescue, team organization and disaster medical operations.

Clients of Landscape Solutions can benefit from the education and experience we have received through our emergency training. Our staff is available to speak to your organization on how to be prepared for weather events like floods, tornadoes and snowstorms or other emergencies like fire or blackouts. Having the knowledge to be able to help yourself in an emergency situation offers peace of mind for your business and your customers.

In the event that your organization needs help following an actual emergency, we are able to offer the following assistance:

  • Dispatch a trained, experienced crew and the heavy equipment necessary to clear downed trees and debris on streets, common areas, pathways, etc.
  • Coordinate the utility shut-offs necessary for your specific property (electricity, gas, water) as well as work with our partners to provide other required services (plumbers, tree service, etc.)
  • Help to coordinate these services to every one of your locations throughout central Indiana.

If you would like more information on this unique service we provide, please Contact Landscape Solutions today.

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