Severe weather warning policy explained

Severe Weather Awareness Week March 24-28

Greene County Emergency Management Director Dennis Morlan  announced that March 24 – 28 has been declared as Severe Weather Awareness Week in the state of Iowa.  The goal of Severe Weather Awareness Week is to provide Iowans a better understanding and to increase awareness of the state’s spring weather hazards.

Current policy states that if a tornado warning is issued by the National Weather Service for a specific community within Greene County, the tornado sirens in that community will be activated.

Current city of Jefferson policy for siren activation reads as follows: ‘In the event the Greene County Communications Center receives a tornado warning issued by the National Weather Service identifying that the city of Jefferson is included in the path of a tornado warning zone, the LEC dispatcher shall activate the sirens so that the people of Jefferson can seek appropriate cover.  In this case, the National Weather Service has identified certain patterns or criteria with their equipment and while utilizing their advanced training determined that information indicates that the potential for tornadic activity is likely.  This siren activation does not necessarily mean that a tornado has been sighted and is headed directly for Jefferson.   It does however extend the advanced warning to the people that may not have received that warning otherwiseIt is the Jefferson city councils’ intention to make sure that a warning with this potential for devastation is extended to those not otherwise around or near any other means in which they could have received that warning.”

Current siren activation policy also authorizes any law enforcement officer working within the county, any fire department member, the emergency management director, a reliable citizen’s report within five miles of a city, and/or the LEC communications operator when notified by the National Weather Service to  activate the emergency weather sirens.

Upon the activation of the sirens all should seek protective cover immediately.  Turn to a local radio or television broadcasting station for further information regarding the emergency creating the warning.

Morlan continues to recommend that every home, business, etc. have a working weather radio.  Spring and fall are good times to check and replace batteries in these radios.  Because of the solid construction of today’s homes, it is possible that sirens cannot be heard within these structures.

Individuals needing more information regarding severe weather preparation may contact Morlan at 515-386-2535.


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