DES MOINES – The Iowa City Police Department, Iowa Department of Homeland Security and Emergency Management (HSEMD), National Weather Service (NWS), and Iowa Emergency Management Association (IEMA) have joined together to promote Severe Weather Awareness Week in Iowa.
Severe Weather Awareness Week, March 21-25, is an opportunity to highlight the importance of being aware of - and prepared for - severe weather. It is also an ideal time to review your family’s emergency plan, check the contents of your emergency kit, and sign up to receive alerts to stay weather aware.
"Iowans know all too well the devastation severe weather can cause," said Iowa City Public Information Officer Lee Hermiston. "Severe Weather Awareness Week is a great time to ensure you and your loved ones are prepared should severe weather strike."
Each day during Severe Weather Awareness Week has a different focus:
· Monday – Severe thunderstorms
· Tuesday – Weather warnings
· Wednesday – Tornadoes
· Thursday – Family preparedness
· Friday – Flash floods
The annual statewide tornado drill will take place on Wed., March 23, beginning at 10 a.m. In the event of severe weather, the drill will be postponed to March 24 at 10 a.m. The purpose of the drill is to ensure that individuals are properly alerted about tornado warnings and can practice any actions that would be taken in the event of a tornado. Drill notifications will be sent through all communication channels normally used for severe weather alerts.
Additional information about the tornado drill can be found on local NWS websites. Due to the statewide drill happening in close proximity to Johnson County's normal siren test day, which is at 10 a.m. the first Wednesday of the month, the county's outdoor sirens will not be tested on Wed., April 6. The normal testing cycle will resume at 10 a.m. on Wed., May 4.
For more information on severe weather preparedness, visit www.beready.iowa.gov
Sign up for free local weather alerts
The Johnson County Emergency Notification System (JCENS) is a free alert system that relays emergency weather alerts to registered users via voicemail, text or email. Sign up for JCENS alerts three
ways — scan the QR code to the right, download the Smart911 mobile app, or text “JohnsonIA” to 67283. Weather radios are also a great tool to alert people to approaching weather.
Follow HSEMD, IEMA, and NWS on social media using the hashtag #IAwx and #ReadyIowa.