Severe Weather Awareness Week -- March 24-28, 2014

The Iowa Homeland Security and Emergency Management Division and the National Weather Service have declared the week of March 24th through March 28th, 2014 Severe Weather Awareness Week.   Severe Weather Awareness Week is an annual event to remind Iowans that severe weather is part of living in our state and that understanding the risks and how to respond to them can save lives.   

Recent Developments 

Impact Based Warnings - The Impact Based Warning (IBW) experimental project  is an effort to better communicate severe weather threats with National Weather Service warnings.   The project began in 2013 and it will continue in 2014.  Checkout the IBW page here.

Wireless Emergency Alerts -  2014 will be the second severe weather season with Wireless Emergency Alerts (WEA).  Click here to learn about WEA and how the alerts might impact how you receive a warning.  Here is a new PSA featuring a Flash Flood Warning and Wireless Emergency Alerts.  Click here

New and improved severe weather preparedness pages on the NWS Des Moines website. Click here

Be A Force of Nature Website is located on the National Weather Services Weather Ready Nation page.  There is a wealth of preparedness material on the page!  Click here

YouTube videos about what to do before, during and after a tornado

Get Weather-Ready: Before a Tornado

Get Weather-Ready: During a Tornado

Get Weather-Ready: After a Tornado

Media interviews concerning severe weather week are encouraged and should be directed to Jeff Johnson, Warning Coordination Meteorologist, Des Moines, IA.  Please use any of our Podcasts which were produced with Iowa Homeland Security and Emergency Management for severe weather, flooding and winter weather safety.   click here

 The highlight of the week will be the tornado drill on Wednesday, March 26, 2014.  The Iowa test will occur at the same date and time as the Nebraska test.

Tornado Test Details on March 26, 2014 - Details are subject to change

The FCC has granted Iowa a waiver for the 2014 tornado drill.  Therefore,  the real Emergency Alert System (EAS) warning codes for test messages will be used.  A special thanks goes to the Iowa Emegency Alert System Board who requested and obtained the waiver from the FCC. 

 9:50 AM - Storm Prediction Center (SPC) coordinates with Iowa/Nebraska National Weather Service (NWS) offices about a test tornado watch for Iowa and Nebraska.

10:00 AM - SPC issues Test Tornado Watch for Iowa and Nebraska.  Each Iowa/Nebraska NWS offices will issue test Watch Coordination Notification messages.  Test watch will be toned alerted on NOAA All Hazards Radio and sent through the Emergency Alert System (EAS) as a test message.

10:10 AM - NWS Sioux Falls and Omaha issue test tornado warnings for their Iowa counties.

10:15 AM- NWS Des Moines and Quad Cities issue test tornado warnings for their Iowa counties.

10:20 AM - NWS La Crosse issues test tornado warning for their Iowa counties.

10:30-10:35 AM - All Iowa NWS offices issues a Severe Weather Statement to terminate the test warnings.

11:00 AM - Test tornado watch expires.

If severe weather threatens on Wednesday - March 26th, the test will be conducted on Thursday - March 27th at the same time.  Nebraska offices will issue tornado warnings for their Nebraska counties at a locally determined schedule.

    Severe Weather Awareness Week Daily Topics

Monday - The focus on Monday will be flash flooding.  Flash flooding is the most deadly thunderstorm threat in the United States.  Never drive into a flooded area!  Additional information - Public Information Statement for March 24, 2014  Flash Flood Pamphlet (PDF) 

Tuesday - On Tuesday we will discuss warning reception.  Over the years, the ways to get hazardous weather warnings have changed.  Today, we will focus on how to get a warning.  Do you know how you get a warning?  Additional information - Public Information Satement for March 25, 2014  Warning Reception Pamphlet (PDF)   Wireless Emergency Alerts (WEA) 

Wednesday - Today is tornado day.  In 2011, over 500 people died in the United States from tornadoes!   Do you know where the safest place is in your home or car? Additional information -  Public Information Statement for March 25, 2014  Tornado Safety Pamphlet (PDF)

Thursday - This is severe thunderstorm day.  Hundreds of severe thunderstorms hit Iowa each year.  Did you know severe thunderstorms can be as dangerous as tornadoes? Additional information - Public Information Statment for March 27, 2014  Severe Thunderstorm Pamphlet (PDF)

Friday - Family Preparedness. Learn about family safety from natural and man made hazards. Additional information - Public Information Statement for March 28, 2014  Family Preparedness Pamphlet (PDF)

During Severe Weather Awareness Week, the National Weather Service will promote severe weather safety by issuing informative Public Information Statements.  

For additional severe weather safety information, including podcasts of emergency management and National Weather Service staff discussing severe weather hazards, visit the Iowa Homeland Security and Emergency Management's Be Ready Iowa! website, please click here.

For severe weather safety and preparedness information in Spanish, please click here (en Español).



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