Stormy Spring In The Forecast?

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By Joe Foreman, Editor

Making note of the tornadoes and severe weather that has already caused substantial damage in the South and other areas of the Midwest this year, Gov. Terry Branstad urged Iowans on Monday to begin preparing for the upcoming severe weather season.

Branstad said Iowans should have a plan in place for potential severe weather. He also encouraged Iowa residents to put together emergency kits containing items like food, bottled water and first-aid supplies.

Branstad’s recommendations are echoed by Mills County Emergency Management Coordinator Larry Hurst.

“Now is the time for everyone to review their safety plans and be prepared for the severe weather season,” Hurst said. “Before severe weather strikes, develop a plan of action. Identify a place for you and your family to take shelter in the event of severe weather. Once you have a plan of action, conduct frequent drills to ensure everyone knows what to do at all times. Make sure you know what to do if you are at home, work, school or outdoors when severe weather strikes.”

While National Severe Weather Week will not be observed in Iowa until the week of April 2-6, Mills County will be one of eight western Iowa counties served by the National Weather Service (NWS) in the Omaha region that will be participating in a tornado drill next Wednesday, March 21, at 10 a.m.

Mills County will also participate in a statewide tornado drill Wednesday, April 4, also at 10 a.m.

Hurst said National Weather Service offices in Omaha and Des Moines will be promoting severe weather safety and sharing valuable information over the next three weeks via NOAA Weather Radio and NWS websites.