Public Information Statement
Issued by NWS Des Moines, IA

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PUBLIC INFORMATION STATEMENT
NATIONAL WEATHER SERVICE DES MOINES IA
700 AM CDT FRI MAR 27 2015

...THIS IS SEVERE WEATHER AWARENESS WEEK IN IOWA...

GOVERNOR TERRY BRANSTAD...THE IOWA HOMELAND SECURITY AND EMERGENCY
MANAGEMENT DIVISION...AND THE NATIONAL WEATHER SERVICE...HAVE
DESIGNATED THE WEEK OF MARCH 23 TO MARCH 27 AS SEVERE WEATHER
AWARENESS WEEK IN IOWA. EACH MORNING THIS WEEK...THE NATIONAL
WEATHER SERVICE IN DES MOINES WILL ISSUE A PUBLIC INFORMATION
STATEMENT FOCUSING ON A DIFFERENT ITEM EACH DAY. TOPICS THIS YEAR
INCLUDE THE FOLLOWING...

     MONDAY...FLASH FLOODING
     TUESDAY...WARNING RECEPTION
     WEDNESDAY...TORNADOES
     THURSDAY...SEVERE THUNDERSTORMS
     FRIDAY...FAMILY PREPAREDNESS

ATTENTION MEDIA...IN ORDER FOR SEVERE WEATHER AWARENESS WEEK TO BE
EFFECTIVE...MEDIA COVERAGE IS CRITICAL. PLEASE USE THE INFORMATION
IN THE PUBLIC INFORMATION STATEMENTS IN YOUR NEWS PROGRAMS TO HELP
PROMOTE SEVERE WEATHER SAFETY.  WE ALSO ENCOURAGE MEDIA INTERVIEWS.
PLEASE CONTACT JEFF ZOGG OR THE SENIOR METEOROLOGIST IF YOU ARE
INTERESTED.

YOU CAN FIND DETAILED SEVERE WEATHER PREPAREDNESS INFORMATION ON OUR
PREPAREDNESS PAGE! IT IS ON THE NATIONAL WEATHER SERVICE DES MOINES
WEBSITE UNDER PREPAREDNESS ON THE LEFT HAND SIDE.

THE TOPIC TODAY IS FAMILY PREPAREDNESS.

DISASTERS OF ALL KINDS DISRUPT HUNDREDS OF THOUSANDS OF LIVES EVERY
YEAR. EACH DISASTER HAS LASTING EFFECTS... BOTH TO PEOPLE AND
PROPERTY. IF A DISASTER OCCURS IN YOUR COMMUNITY...LOCAL GOVERNMENT
AND DISASTER-RELIEF ORGANIZATIONS WILL TRY TO HELP YOU...BUT YOU
NEED TO BE READY AS WELL. LOCAL RESPONDERS MAY NOT BE ABLE TO REACH
YOU IMMEDIATELY...OR THEY MAY NEED TO FOCUS THEIR EFFORTS ELSEWHERE.
BEING PREPARED FOR A DISASTER CAN REDUCE FEAR...ANXIETY...AND LOSSES
THAT ACCOMPANY DISASTERS. THERE ARE FIVE KEY ELEMENTS TO A DISASTER
PLAN:

1...LEARN ABOUT POSSIBLE DANGERS IN YOUR AREA AND BECOME FAMILIAR
WITH YOUR COMMUNITY/S DISASTER RESPONSE PLAN. COMMON DISASTERS IN
IOWA INCLUDE SEVERE THUNDERSTORMS... TORNADOES AND FLOODING.

2...TALK TO YOUR FAMILY ABOUT WHAT TO DO IN THE EVENT OF AN
EMERGENCY. PICK TWO LOCATIONS WHERE YOU WILL MEET - ONE CLOSE TO
YOUR HOME AND ANOTHER REMOVED FROM YOUR NEIGHBORHOOD TO BE USED IF
YOU ARE UNABLE TO RETURN TO YOUR RESIDENCE.

3...DEVELOP A CRISIS COMMUNICATIONS PLAN TO INSURE THAT YOUR FAMILY
WILL BE ABLE TO STAY IN CONTACT IF YOU ARE SEPARATED DURING A
DISASTER.

4...CREATE EMERGENCY PREPAREDNESS KITS FOR YOUR HOME...OFFICE AND
CAR.

5...PRACTICE YOUR PLAN!

ASSEMBLE A DISASTER KIT

A DISASTER SUPPLIES KIT IS A COLLECTION OF BASIC ITEMS THAT MEMBERS
OF A HOUSEHOLD MAY NEED IN THE EVENT OF A DISASTER. AN EFFECTIVE
DISASTER KIT CONTAINS ENOUGH FOOD...WATER AND OTHER SUPPLIES FOR
EACH PERSON TO LAST THREE DAYS. HERE IS A BASIC LIST OF ITEMS TO
INCLUDE IN A KIT:

-FOOD AND WATER
-BATTERY OR HAND CRANK OPERATED RADIO
-FLASH LIGHT AND EXTRA BATTERIES
-FIRST AID SUPPLIES
-CLOTHING...SHOES AND BLANKETS
-WHISTLE
-CASH AND COINS
-PHOTOCOPIES OF IMPORTANT FAMILY DOCUMENTS SUCH AS ID`S AND CREDIT
CARDS
-BABY NEEDS
-SANITATION ITEMS SUCH AS HAND SANITIZER AND TOILET PAPER
-SPECIALTY ITEMS SUCH AS PRESCRIPTION MEDICATIONS AND EYEGLASSES
-GAMES TO PASS THE TIME

DEVELOP A FAMILY EVACUATION PLAN

EVACUATIONS ARE MORE COMMON THAN PEOPLE REALIZE. HUNDREDS OF TIMES
EACH YEAR...TRANSPORTATION AND INDUSTRIAL ACCIDENTS RELEASE HARMFUL
SUBSTANCES...FORCING THOUSANDS OF PEOPLE TO LEAVE THEIR HOMES. FIRE
AND FLOODS CAUSE EVACUATIONS EVEN MORE FREQUENTLY.

TIPS FOR A GOOD EVACUATION PLAN:
-PLAN ROUTES FROM YOUR RESIDENCE TO A SAFE LOCATION.
-PLAN FOR WHAT YOU WOULD NEED TO TAKE WITH YOU SHOULD YOU NEED TO
LEAVE YOUR HOME FOR AN UNKNOWN PERIOD OF TIME.
-ENSURE ALL FAMILY MEMBERS KNOW WHERE TO GO SHOULD YOU BE SEPARATED.
-RADIO MESSAGES WILL INFORM YOU OF SPECIFIC ROUTES AND SHELTER AREAS
SHOULD A MAJOR INCIDENT OCCUR.

IF YOU SHOULD BE EVACUATED...IT IS IMPORTANT TO FOLLOW RECOMMENDED
EVACUATION ROUTES...DO NOT TAKE SHORTCUTS AS THEY MAY BE BLOCKED. BE
ALERT FOR WASHED-OUT ROADS AND BRIDGES AND DOWNED POWER LINES. IF
YOU HAVE TIME...BE SURE TO SECURE YOUR HOME BEFORE LEAVING AND LET
OTHERS KNOW WHERE YOU ARE GOING.

DON/T FORGET PETS

IF YOU ARE LIKE MILLIONS OF ANIMAL OWNERS NATIONWIDE...YOUR PET IS
AN IMPORTANT MEMBER OF YOUR FAMILY...SO MAKE PLANS FOR YOUR PETS
TOO! FOR PUBLIC HEALTH REASONS...MOST SHELTERS DO NOT ACCEPT PETS.
PREPARE A LIST OF KENNELS...FRIENDS AND FAMILY MEMBERS WHO MAY BE
ABLE TO CARE FOR YOUR PET IN AN EMERGENCY. PACK AN EMERGENCY KIT FOR
YOUR PETS AS WELL. THE KIT SHOULD INCLUDE A SUPPLY OF PET
FOOD...WATER...MEDICATIONS...VETERINARY RECORDS AND ITEMS LIKE CAT
LITTER. MAKE SURE IDENTIFICATION TAGS ARE UP TO DATE AND SECURELY
FASTENED TO YOUR PET/S COLLAR. IT IS ALSO A GOOD IDEA TO HAVE A
PHOTOGRAPH OF YOU AND YOUR PET AS THIS CAN ESTABLISH OWNERSHIP IF
YOUR PET IS LOST.

PREPARE YOUR HOME

THERE ARE NUMEROUS STEPS YOU CAN TAKE IN AND AROUND YOUR HOME TO
HELP LIMIT THE DAMAGE DONE BY SEVERE WEATHER. CONSIDER TAKING THE
FOLLOWING ACTIONS BEFORE SEVERE WEATHER BLOWS THROUGH TOWN:

FLOODING...

-ELEVATE THE FURNACE...WATER HEATER AND ELECTRIC PANEL IN YOUR HOME
IF YOU LIVE IN AN AREA THAT HAS A HIGH FLOOD RISK.
-CONSIDER INSTALLING SEWER BACKFLOW VALVES.
-ADD WATERPROOF VENEER TO EXTERIOR WALLS.

THUNDERSTORMS AND STRONG WINDS...

-REMOVE DEAD OR ROTTING TREE BRANCHES THAT COULD FALL AND CAUSE
INJURY OR DAMAGE.
-SECURE OUTDOOR OBJECTS THAT COULD BLOW AWAY OR CAUSE DAMAGE.
-SHUTTER WINDOWS AND SECURE OUTSIDE DOORS.

THIS CONCLUDES SEVERE WEATHER AWARENESS WEEK 2015.

NATIONAL WEATHER SERVICE DES MOINES IA
WWW.WEATHER.GOV/DESMOINES

$$



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