Public Information Statement
Issued by NWS Des Moines, IA

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PUBLIC INFORMATION STATEMENT
NATIONAL WEATHER SERVICE DES MOINES IA
800 AM CDT WED MAR 26 2014

...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 24 TO MARCH 28 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
INCLUDES 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 JOHNSON IF YOU ARE INTERESTED.

CHECKOUT THE NEW NATIONAL WEATHER SERVICE DES MOINES PREPAREDNESS
PAGE...IT IS FULL OF NEW SEVERE WEATHER PREPAREDNESS INFORMATION. IT
IS ON THE NATIONAL WEATHER SERVICE...DES MOINES...WEBSITE UNDER
PREPAREDNESS ON THE LEFT HAND SIDE.

TODAY/S TOPIC IS TORNADOES...

THE COMBINED IOWA AND NEBRASKA TORNADO DRILL WILL BE CONDUCTED THIS
MORNING.  HERE IS WHAT TO EXPECT...

10:00 A.M. CDT STORM PREDICTION CENTER ISSUES TEST TORNADO WATCH
FOR ALL OF IOWA AND NEBRASKA VALID UNTIL 11:00 A.M. 10:10 A.M. CDT
WEATHER FORECAST OFFICE (WFO) IN SIOUX FALLS AND OMAHA ISSUES A TEST
TORNADO WARNING FOR THEIR IOWA AND NEBRASKA COUNTIES. 10:15 A.M. CDT
 WEATHER FORECAST OFFICE (WFO) IN DES MOINES ISSUES A TEST TORNADO
WARNING FOR THEIR IOWA COUNTIES. 10:15 A.M. CDT WEATHER FORECAST
OFFICE (WFO) IN QUAD CITIES ISSUES A TEST TORNADO WARNING FOR THEIR
IOWA COUNTIES. 10:20 A.M. CDT WEATHER FORECAST OFFICE (WFO) IN LA
CROSSE ISSUES TEST A TORNADO WARNING FOR THEIR IOWA COUNTIES. 10:30
A.M. UNTIL 10:45 A.M. ALL PARTICIPATING IOWA WEATHER FORECAST
OFFICES ISSUE A SEVERE WEATHER STATEMENT TERMINATING THE TEST.

A TORNADO IS A RAPIDLY ROTATING COLUMN OF AIR IN CONTACT WITH THE
GROUND.  A VISIBLE CLOUD IS NOT NEEDED FOR A TORNADO TO BE IN
PROGRESS.  SOME TORNADOES MAY NOT APPEAR TO EXTEND TO THE GROUND BUT
ARE CAUSING CONSIDERABLE DAMAGE.  TORNADOES TAKE ON VARIOUS SHAPES
AND SIZES... AND MOST PRODUCE WINDS LESS THAN 120 MPH.  HOWEVER...A
FEW ARE CAPABLE OF PRODUCING WINDS OVER 300 MPH.  SOME ARE VERY
SMALL AND LAST FOR ONLY A MINUTE OR SO...WHILE OTHERS CAN BE A MILE
OR TWO WIDE AND STAY ON THE GROUND FOR OVER AN HOUR.

WHAT TO LISTEN FOR...A TORNADO WATCH IS ISSUED BY THE NATIONAL
WEATHER SERVICE WHEN CONDITIONS ARE FAVORABLE FOR THE DEVELOPMENT OF
TORNADOES IN AND CLOSE TO THE WATCH AREA. WATCHES ARE GENERALLY
ISSUED FOR THE DURATION OF 4-8 HOURS AND IN ADVANCE OF THE ACTUAL
OCCURRENCE OF SEVERE WEATHER. DURING THE WATCH...PEOPLE SHOULD BE
PREPARED TO MOVE TO A PLACE OF SAFETY IF THREATENING WEATHER
APPROACHES.

A TORNADO WARNING IS ISSUED BY THE NATIONAL WEATHER
SERVICE WHEN A TORNADO IS INDICATED BY RADAR OR SIGHTED BY SPOTTERS.
PEOPLE IN THE AFFECTED AREA SHOULD SEEK SAFE SHELTER IMMEDIATELY.

TORNADO EMERGENCY...A TORNADO EMERGENCY MEANS THAT
SIGNIFICANT...WIDESPREAD DAMAGE WITH A HIGH LIKELIHOOD OF NUMEROUS
FATALITIES IS EXPECTED TO CONTINUE WITH A STRONG AND VIOLENT
TORNADO. A TORNADO EMERGENCY IS NOT A NEW WARNING PRODUCT...BUT A
NEW...VISIBLE AND HIGH IMPACT CALL-TO-ACTION.  THE CORRESPONDING
DAMAGE TAG FOR A TORNADO EMERGENCY IS TORNADO DAMAGE
THREAT...CATASTROPHIC.

FOR MORE ABOUT IMPACT BASED WARNINGS...VISIT OUR WEBSITE AT...
WWW.CRH.NOAA.GOV/CRH/?N=2013_IBW_INFO (LOWER CASE)

TO BE READY FOR A TORNADO...HAVE A NOAA WEATHER RADIO WITH A WARNING
ALARM TONE AND BATTERY BACKUP. MAKE SURE YOUR FAMILY AND PEOPLE IN
YOUR WORKPLACE ARE FAMILIAR WITH SAFETY PRECAUTIONS AND THE LOCATION
OF SAFE SHELTER. REVIEW THE PROCEDURES AND PRACTICE THEM.

IF YOU ARE IN A HOME OR OTHER BUILDING WHEN A TORNADO STRIKES...MOVE
UNDERNEATH A TABLE...WORKBENCH OR STAIRCASE. STAY AWAY FROM CORNERS
OF THE ROOM BECAUSE DEBRIS IS USUALLY DIACED INTO THOSE AREAS. STAY
AWAY FROM WINDOWS.

MOBILE HOMES...EVEN IF TIED DOWN...OFFER LITTLE PROTECTION FROM
TORNADOES AND SHOULD BE ABANDONED. IF AN UNDERGROUND SHELTER IS NOT
AVAILABLE... MOVE TO THE LOWEST...MOST INTERIOR ROOM AVAILABLE.
SAFE PLACES IN AN OFFICE BUILDING...SHOPPING MALL OR
SCHOOL...INCLUDE INTERIOR HALLWAYS. CROUCH ON THE GROUND FLOOR
AGAINST A WALL...COVERING YOUR HEAD WITH YOUR HANDS. LEAVE WIDE OPEN
ROOMS LIKE GYMS...AUDITORIUMS OR COMMON AREAS OF SHOPPING MALLS AS
THEY ARE UNSAFE.

IF YOU ARE CAUGHT OUT IN THE OPEN OR IN A VEHICLE NEVER TRY TO
OUTRUN A TORNADO ESPECIALLY IF THEY ARE NEARBY. TORNADOES CAN MOVE
AT SPEEDS OF OVER 50 MPH AND CHANGE DIRECTIONS QUICKLY.  MANY PEOPLE
MISTAKENLY THINK THAT HIGHWAY OVERPASSES PROVIDE SAFETY FROM A
TORNADO. IN REALITY...AN OVERPASS MAY BE ONE OF THE WORST PLACES TO
SEEK SHELTER FROM A TORNADO. SEEKING SHELTER UNDER AND OVERPASS PUTS
YOU AT GREATER RISK OF BEING KILLED OR INJURED BY FLYING DEBRIS.

TORNADIC WINDS CAN MAKE THE MOST BENIGN ITEM A DANGEROUS MISSILE. IN
ADDITION TO THE DEBRIS THAT CAN INJURE YOU...THE WINDS UNDER AN
OVERPASS ARE CHANNELED AND COULD EASILY BLOW YOU OR CARRY YOU OUT
FROM UNDER THE OVERPASS.

JEFF JOHNSON
WARNING AND COORDINATION METEOROLOGIST
NATIONAL WEATHER SERVICE DES MOINES IA
WWW.WEATHER.GOV/DESMOINES



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