UPDATE — The Statewide Tornado Drill that was planned for Wednesday of this week — March 23rd — has been postponed to Thursday, March 24th, due to impending weather.
Northwest Iowa — Iowans are ever mindful that severe weather may strike at any time. Iowa Homeland Security and Emergency Management, along with the National Weather Service designate the last full week of March every year as Severe Weather Awareness Week in Iowa. That’s next week — March 21st through the 25th.
Todd Heitkamp with the National Weather Service’s Sioux Falls Office says that the goal is to provide Iowans a better understanding about the state’s spring weather hazards.
He says there will be a different theme each day of the week.
On THURSDAY, MARCH 24TH, there will be a statewide tornado drill. Many communities will test their tornado sirens, and weather radios and other devices will alarm, alerting you to a tornado warning. Officials say that the warning will be coded as a real warning — so a weather radio display might say “TORNADO WARNING”, but the body of the warning message will indicate that it’s a test. If severe weather actually threatens the state that day, the test will be postponed.
On a related note, Northwest Iowa Community College will be offering a Storm Watch course on April 11th and 12th this year. The free course is aimed at emergency personnel, but is open to anyone who wants to learn about severe weather. Contact NCC for more information.