The City of Iowa City will participate in a state-wide mock tornado drill on Wednesday, March 27 from 10 to 10:30 a.m. as part of Severe Weather Awareness Week. Businesses, schools, and residents are urged to use the drill to test and practice their emergency plans as if it were a real event, following the advice and motto of the National Weather Service: “Plan, prepare, practice, and survive.” If severe weather happens to threaten the area on March 27, the drill will be postponed until the next day, Thursday, March 28.
The schedule and practice drill is as follows:
- Watch: At 10 a.m., a tornado watch will be called. A “watch” indicates that conditions exist for the development of tornados, and people should be prepared to take shelter.
- Warning: A short time later, a tornado warning will be issued, and sirens in Iowa City and Johnson County will sound for one full minute. A “warning” indicates that a tornado has been sighted by spotters or on radar. Severe thunderstorms can also result in a warning, as they can produce tornadoes or cause damage from strong wind gusts and/or hail.
- Shelter: Just as in a real event, as soon as the warning sirens go off, people should take immediate shelter. A designated Tornado Safe Room or a windowless room that is located on the lowest level and closest to the center of the building is recommended. Children are encouraged to wear a bike helmet or similar protection, as head injuries are the cause of many tornado-related deaths. People should monitor their National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) weather radio or tune in to local television or radio stations for additional information about the storm.
- Conclusion: At about 10:30 a.m., the practice event will conclude. Although an all-clear siren will not be sounded, an announcement will be made over NOAA radios indicating the end of the drill.
The state’s Severe Weather Awareness Week will be observed March 25-29. As a result, outdoor siren tests that are normally conducted on the first Wednesday of the month will not be held in April. The normal schedule will resume in May.
View this article on the ICGov Web Site: http://www.icgov.org/apps/news/?newsID=8590