The Marshall County Emergency Management Agency, Iowa Department of Homeland Security and Emergency Management, National Weather Service and Iowa Emergency Management Association have joined together to promote Severe Weather Awareness Week in Iowa.
Severe Weather Awareness Week, which ends Friday, is an opportunity to highlight the importance of being aware of, and prepared for, severe weather.
Marshall County Emergency Management Agency coordinator Kim Elder of State Center said, “Severe weather is something we can prepare for in advance. Knowing what a ‘watch’ and a ‘warning’ are, teaching family members when and where to shelter during a storm, learning more about tornado sirens and warnings, making a severe weather kit or backpack to have essentials in your shelter area, and knowing how dangerous flash flooding can be, are all ways to be storm ready.”
For each day during Severe Weather Awareness Week, a different subject will be featured:·
• Tuesday — Weather warnings
• Wednesday — Tornadoes
• Thursday — Family preparedness
• Friday — Flash floods
“The annual tornado drill will not take place on Wednesday due to the current emergency declaration of COVID-19,” Elder said. “While the July 2018 tornado remains a strong memory for many county residents, we must be grateful there was no loss of life or serious injury resulting directly from the tornado. That was because many obeyed warning sirens and other notifications.”
Marshalltown City Council member Bill Martin, who has experienced many severe weather incidents as a long-time resident, has clear recollections of the tornado as well as the days, weeks and months following. He drew a comparison to the COVID-19 pandemic.
“In any severe weather situation, we rely on county emergency management personnel, weather and medical professionals,” he said. “It is critical town and rural residents heed their warnings. That was a key reason there was no fatalities linked directly to the tornado. People listened. The same applies now with COVID-19 warnings. We must adhere the advice of medical professionals at the local, state and federal level. Regardless of the tornado’s devastation, people came together. That was, and continues to be Marshalltown’s and Marshall County’s strength. With neighbors checking on neighbor during this COVID-19 crisis we will get the job done.”
State Center Mayor Steve Sodders also reminded residents of his community and those county-wide to practice emergency preparedness this week.
“As a former deputy sheriff, I can not emphasize enough the lives that have been saved and property damage lessened due to preparedness,” he said. “Practice emergency preparedness year ’round.”
Preparedness steps can still be exercised throughout the spring at schools, businesses, government agencies, and group living facilities. Individuals and families are strongly encouraged to be prepared for severe storms.
For more information on severe weather preparedness, visit www.beready.iowa.gov or the Emergency Management Agency Facebook page.
Additional information about severe weather preparedness and links to local National Weather Service websites are available at www.beready.iowa.gov.
Follow the Department of Homeland Security and Emergency Management and National Weather Service on social media, using hashtags #IAwx and #ReadyIowa.
For more information contact Elder at 641-754-6385 or firstname.lastname@example.org.