Will you know if there’s a tornado? Find out tomorrow

Tornado drill graphic: Thursday, March 20, between 10:15 a.m. and 10:45 a.m. EDT and again between 7:30 p.m. and 7:45 p.m. EDT

Earlier this week I wrote about why you should stop believing in tornado sirens and some better alternatives to sirens.

Assuming you’ve chosen a method to receive tornado warnings, tomorrow, you’ll have a chance to see how well the method you’ve chosen works. Throughout the state, the National Weather Service will issue two test tornado warnings tomorrow; one in the late morning (when most people are at work) and one in the early evening (when most people are at home). These test warnings will trigger all the alerts that a normal tornado warning triggers, including weather alert radio, smartphone apps, wireless emergency alerts, radio and television alerts, and yes, even tornado sirens.

So, if the morning goes by and you don’t become aware of a test tornado warning — that is, you don’t hear sirens or get the test warning by any other means — you’ll know you would have missed a real tornado warning. Likewise, for the evening test.

There are a couple possible exceptions. If true severe weather threatens any part of Indiana tomorrow, officials will postpone the statewide drill. Also, in previous years, local officials have unilaterally decided not to activate tornado sirens during the drill. So, if you don’t hear a siren, it might be because you’re not in range of a siren, or it might be because the local officials who control the sirens decided not to participate in the drill.