Severe Weather

Severe weather happens here

Indiana frequently experiences severe weather, which is defined as a storm having wind gusts of at least 58 m.p.h. or producing hail at least 1 inch in diameter. Any storm that produces lightning can be deadly, and flooding can occur from rain or a broken pipe nearly anywhere. Prepare for any natural disaster with Get Ready!

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A street with trees submerged in water due to a flood

Things you should do

  • If you can count 30 seconds or less between lightning and thunder, seek safe shelter inside a building or hard-topped vehicle.
  • Have a NOAA weather radio at home with fully charged batteries.
  • Check your local weather forecast before spending extended time outdoors.
  • If a storm produces large hail, seek sturdy shelter and stay away from windows.
  • Know that a weather “watch” means be alert and a weather “warning” means you need to take action to be safe.
  • Have an emergency kit.

Things you should not do

  • Don’t drive over flooded roadways or through water.
  • Don’t walk through rushing water; as little as 6 inches of floodwater can knock you over.
  • Don’t rely solely on weather radar to determine dangers; dangerous winds can precede a storm by miles.
  • Don’t shelter near trees or other tall objects in a storm; shelter underneath a roof.
  • Don’t shelter under a bridge; winds can funnel and grow even stronger beneath it.
  • Don’t stay on or in the water if you see any lightning.
  • Don’t use a landline telephone during a storm, because lightning can travel through the wires.

Is it a watch or a warning?

Severe thunderstorms are possible, continue normal activities and monitor the situation.

Severe thunderstorms are occurring. Take the following safe actions:

  • Keep people indoors and away from windows until the severe storm passes.
  • If you are outside, seek shelter immediately.
  • Report injuries and damage on campus to the IU Police Department at 911(9-911 will also work from an on-campus phone). Notify your departmental administrative office.

Tornadoes and severe thunderstorms are possible. Proceed with normal activities but continue monitoring the situation.

An actual tornado has been identified in the area by spotters and/or radar. Take the following actions if you are in the warning area:

  • Stay away from windows and exterior doors. Basements, interior hallways on the lower floors and small interior rooms on the lower floors offer the best shelter.
  • Know the location of your nearest shelter in advance.
  • Do not open windows; this can increase damage to the building.
  • Report injuries and damage on campus to the IU Police Department at 911 (9-911 will also work from an on-campus phone).
  • Notify your local Campus Facilities Services or Physical Plant Offices of damage.
  • If in a vehicle, get out and seek shelter in a sturdy building. If a building is not available, lying flat in a depression such as a ditch or a ravine offers some protection.

Severe weather and outdoor warning sirens

Indiana has severe weather and outdoor warning sirens systems throughout the state. The sirens are designed to be heard outdoors, but you may hear a siren inside if you are near a siren location. Outdoor warning sirens typically sound when a tornado warning is issued, but can be used for other severe weather situations. If someone hears a warning siren sound while outside, they need to seek immediate shelter.

For your safety, outdoor warning sirens are tested regularly unless severe weather happens unexpectedly. Find the day and time for outdoor warning siren tests in areas near your campus below.

Scheduled siren tests

  • Bloomington: First Friday of the month at 12 p.m. and 7p.m. EDT
  • New Albany: First Saturday of the month at 12 p.m. EDT
  • Columbus: First Friday of the month at 12 p.m. EDT
  • Evansville: Every Friday at 12 p.m. CDT
  • Indianapolis: First Friday of the month at 11 a.m. EDT
  • Richmond: Third Wednesday of the month at 12 p.m. EDT
  • Kokomo: No sirens.
  • South Bend: First Thursday of the month at 11:30 a.m. EDT
  • Gary: First Saturday of the month at 12 p.m. CDT