FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: March 21, 2016
CONTACT: HSEMDPIO@iowa.gov or (515) 725-3231
Gov. Branstad proclaims March 21-25 Severe Weather Awareness Week
DES MOINES – Today, at the Administration’s weekly press conference, Gov. Terry E. Branstad proclaimed March 21-25, 2016, as Severe Weather Awareness Week in Iowa. The Iowa Department of Homeland Security and Emergency Management (HSEMD), the National Weather Service (NWS) and local emergency managers have again joined together to promote severe weather awareness and family preparedness.
“Unfortunately, Iowans are all too familiar with the potential impact that severe weather can have on our state,” said Branstad. “Severe Weather Awareness Week is a reminder to Iowa families and businesses that they should take time and review their own emergency disaster preparedness plans to ensure you are best able to deal with severe weather.”
For each day during Severe Weather Awareness Week, a different subject will be featured:
- Monday – Severe thunderstorms
- Tuesday – Weather warnings
- Wednesday – Tornadoes
- Thursday – Family preparedness
- Friday – Flash floods
The annual tornado drill will take place on Wednesday, March 23, at approximately 10 a.m. Schools, businesses, state and local governments, and individuals are strongly encouraged to participate in the drill. Additional information about the tornado drill can be found on local NWS websites.
“Severe Weather Awareness Week is the perfect time to practice our emergency plans and review the items in our emergency supply kits,” said HSEMD Director Mark Schouten. “A vital part of being prepared is being aware. A great tool to receive weather warnings is Alert Iowa, our statewide mass notification system.” At this time, 79 of Iowa’s 99 counties are sending alerts via this system. Learn more about Alert Iowa here.
Brochures and fact sheets about severe weather safety and family preparedness are available for download on the Ready Iowa site and NWS websites. Additional information can be found on social media, including Facebook, Twitter, and YouTube, throughout the week using hashtag #IASWAW. Logos, graphics, and a copy of the governor’s proclamation can also be found on the Ready Iowa website.
The Iowa Department of Homeland Security and Emergency Management leads, coordinates and supports homeland security and emergency management functions in order to establish sustainable communities and ensure economic opportunities for Iowa and its citizens.
A PDF of the proclamation can be found here. The text of the proclamation is as follows:
WHEREAS, the state of Iowa is struck by an average of more than 46 tornadoes annually, causing an average of one death and 22 injuries per year since 1980; and
WHEREAS, 105 tornadoes struck the state in 2008, with two deadly tornadoes that year killing 13 people; and
WHEREAS, floods have resulted in billions of dollars in damage in Iowa since 1990, with record flooding and damage in 1993, 2008, and 2010; and
WHEREAS, more than 60 fatalities have occurred in Iowa due to lightning in the past 30 years; and
WHEREAS, the Iowa Department of Homeland Security and Emergency Management, National Weather Service, and local emergency management agencies' efforts to warn the population of tornadoes, flash floods, and severe thunderstorms can be reinforced by participation in drills and exercises which lead to appropriate action on the part of local governments, businesses, industries, schools, hospitals, health care facilities, and especially individual citizens; and
WHEREAS, the Iowa Department of Homeland Security and Emergency Management, National Weather Service, and local emergency management agencies continually stress the need and importance of preparedness for severe storms by instruction in schools, broadcasts over radio and television, distribution of safety and preparedness information, and helping local communities develop storm spotter networks; and
WHEREAS, the laws of Iowa require tornado drills in all schools and extended health care facilities, and require mobile homes to be tied down, thereby emphasizing foresight in recognizing the need for preparedness education and instruction:
NOW, THEREFORE, I, Terry E. Branstad, Governor of the State of Iowa, do hereby proclaim March 21-25, 2016, as
SEVERE WEATHER AWARENESS WEEK
in Iowa, and urge all Iowans to take due notice of this occasion, and to give appropriate attention to their necessary actions during a tornado, flash flood, or severe thunderstorm event.