NOTE: A previous version of this message announced a tornado siren test scheduled for Wednesday, March 18 from 10 to 10:30 a.m. That test has been canceled statewide.

Severe Weather Preparedness Week in Indiana this year is from March 15 to 21. Please keep this information in mind in case of an emergency.

During an actual emergency: Residents and businesses should immediately respond to the outdoor warning sirens by taking cover, along with their pets, in designated storm-resistant locations, and continue to monitor sources for emergency information.

Now is the time for residents without a tornado shelter of their own to determine where they will go in case of a tornado warning. Residents who have an appropriate shelter are encouraged to be open to neighbors without shelter by allowing them to share theirs, if approached.

The City of Goshen tests outdoor warning sirens every Thursday at 2 p.m. to make sure they are functioning and make repairs if needed, so we are ready during an emergency.

The National Weather Service (NWS) coordinates Severe Weather Preparedness Week to educate the public about the hazards of severe thunderstorms and tornadoes, and to help everyone be prepared when severe weather occurs. Every day of the week will focus on a different topic. For a full list of recommended activities for the public, go to

Know the difference between a tornado watch and a tornado warning:

  • A watch signals that a tornado is possible in the area. During a watch, you should discuss emergency plans and check supplies and your safe room.
  • A warning means you need to take action. A tornado has been sighted or indicated by the weather radar. Move to your safe room.

In the occurrence of severe weather, this is what everyone’s role is in the watch/warning process:

  • The NWS issues official warnings when dangerous, damaging weather is imminent and activated National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration All-Hazards radio and the Emergency Alert System, sounding alarms on radios, media stations and pre-set electronic devices. The NWS also receives damage reports from spotters and relays reports to the media.
  • Local officials activate outdoor warning sirens and deploy responders to damage areas.
  • The Indiana Department of Homeland Security (IDHS) activates the Emergency Operations Center and coordinates with local officials. The IDHS also deploys personnel or resources to damage areas upon local requests.
  • The American Red Cross may deploy to the IDHS Emergency Operations Center and may deploy staff to damage areas.
  • The media broadcasts NWS warnings through crawl TV messages, texts and social media. TV meteorologists enhance details on locations threatened. Journalists report live from damage areas or broadcast calls from spotters.

Other participating agencies on Severe Weather Preparedness Week will be the National Weather Service, in conjunction with the Indiana State Police, the Indiana Department of Homeland Security, the Indiana Department of Education, the Indiana Broadcasters Association, the American Red Cross, and Amateur Radio Operators.

For more information about Severe Weather Preparedness Week, go to