Officials urging people to have phone, radio or TV close by as storms hit central Indiana

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INDIANAPOLIS — Officials in Indianapolis are pleading with residents to have some way to get severe weather alerts as storms roll in late Friday night and in to Saturday morning.

“Could mean power outages property damage and serious or even fatal injury,” Mayor Joe Hogsett said.

The National Weather Service says it’ll be important to be close to a weather radio, television or better yet a cell phone.

“We will do our best to get warnings out ahead of any storms that are severe but with that fast motion storms will be upon people very quickly,” Sam Lashley with the Indianapolis National Weather Service said. “Make sure they are charged before you go to bed make sure they are not on do not disturb make sure they are set to get the wireless emergency alert messages and have the volume turned up.”

Both IMPD and IFD will be on alert throughout the night to respond to emergency situations. However, they warn people should be prepared for longer than normal response times.

“We do get an influx of calls when we have severe weather,” Tom Sella, Acting Chief of Metropolitan Emergency Services, said. “Stay on the line do not hang up and also if you have to you can also text 911.”

The city’s Department of Public Works has 30 crews on standby to respond to downed trees and localized flooding.

“We will have DPW dispatch on throughout the event and tomorrow because most folks will notice tree debris and other things down tomorrow morning,” Dan Parker, Director of the Department of Public Works, said.

On top of getting emergency alerts, officials say the best thing people can do is stay inside and ride out the storm.

“I would, to use a well-worn phrase, batten down every hatch that can be batten at least until such time that the morning comes, and we can assess whatever damage has occurred overnight,” Mayor Hogsett said.

Now there are several distinct ways to report damage or emergencies. 

Any downed trees or flooded streets need to be called in to DPW through the mayor’s action center. 

Emergencies liked traffic light outages need to go to 911. Downed power lines or outages should go through your power company.

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