Indiana University

News Release

Wednesday, March 20, 2013

Last modified: Wednesday, March 20, 2013

Operation Stormy Weather: IU to conduct tornado drills March 27

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March 20, 2013

BLOOMINGTON, Ind. -- Indiana University campuses will participate in a statewide tornado drill Wednesday, March 27, as part of Indiana's Severe Weather Awareness Week, March 24 to 30.

Each campus will activate a tornado warning test/drill using IU-Notify, the university's emergency notification system, between 10 and 10:30 a.m. EDT for the first test and between 7:15 and 7:45 p.m. for the second, both coinciding with the statewide and county tornado siren drills. The IU Northwest campus in Gary is on Central Daylight Time, so the IU-Notify test there will occur one hour earlier.

In the event of real severe weather conditions, the drill will be postponed until Thursday, March 28, at the same times.

Test messages will be sent to IU faculty, staff and students across the state via email, text message (SMS), social media, digital signage, campus cable TV and website updates.

This test of IU-Notify and the full-scale tornado drill are part of "Operation Stormy Weather," a university campaign to raise awareness of preparedness and safety procedures during severe weather season. All members of the IU community are expected to follow tornado procedures as if this were a real tornado warning by seeking shelter when notification is received, whether that is via sirens or IU-Notify alerts.

Past tests have shown that phone calls generally are not a timely way to alert recipients to a tornado, so they will not be part of this test. To mimic real-world procedures for tornado warnings, a second alert will be sent for each test to indicate the "all clear." Test messages clearly will be marked as tests, and university websites will alert campus communities in advance of what to expect.

Because the tests are statewide, alerts also will be broadcast on National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration weather radio and local media. Outdoor warning sirens and public address systems also will be tested at both times.

"Operation Stormy Weather" is designed to encourage faculty, staff and students to be prepared for the downside of weather: tornadoes and severe thunderstorms, which can include damaging winds, hail, lightning and flooding.

All members of the IU community should review severe weather communications and shelter plans for their respective buildings before the test March 27. Everyone should participate in this important preparedness drill and also consider practicing with their families at home during the evening test.

Just over one year ago in Henryville in southern Indiana, Hoosiers were vividly reminded that seconds count in a tornado. Knowing and practicing what to do and where to go can save lives.

What to do before the drills:

During the drills:

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530 E. Kirkwood Ave., Suite 201
Bloomington, IN 47408-4003