Every year in the United States, hundreds of people are killed and thousands injured because of the weather. Dangerous weather can take many forms, ranging from violent tornadoes to crippling winter storms. With the notable exception of hurricanes, Iowa can experience any of these dangerous phenomena. This week we're sharing some Weather-Ready knowledge to help you know the hazards, how you can be prepared and ready to react to dangerous weather.
Find out what you can do before severe weather strikes. Preparation is key to staying safe and minimizing impacts.
- Be Weather-Ready: Check the forecast regularly to see if you're at risk for severe weather. Listen to local news or a NOAA Weather Radio to stay informed about severe thunderstorm watches and warnings. Check the Weather-Ready Nation for tips.
- Sign Up for Notifications: Know how your community sends warning. Some communities have outdoor sirens. Others depend on media and smart phones to alert residents to severe storms. Sign up here for WENS/Alert Iowa Alerts! In the event of an emergency, an alert will be sent to the phone number(s) you provide and/or your email address. This is a free service provided by Jasper County, however, normal message fees may apply. To receive text messages to your cell phone, your cell phone must have text messaging capabilities.
- Create a Communications Plan: Have a family plan that includes an emergency meeting place and related information. Pick a safe room in your home such as a basement, storm cellar or an interior room on the lowest floor with no windows. Get more ideas for a plan at: https://www.ready.gov/make-a-plan
- Practice Your Plan: Conduct a family severe thunderstorm drill regularly so everyone knows what to do if a damaging wind or large hail is approaching. Make sure all members of your family know to go there when severe thunderstorm warnings are issued. Don't forget pets if time allows.
- Prepare Your Home: Keep trees and branches trimmed near your house. If you have time before severe weather hits, secure loose objects, close windows and doors, and move any valuable objects inside or under a sturdy structure.
- Help Your Neighbor: Encourage your loved ones to prepare for severe thunderstorms. Take CPR training so you can help if someone is hurt during severe weather.