Statewide Tornado Drill Happening Thursday

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DES MOINES, Iowa -- Severe Weather Awareness Week continues in Iowa with a statewide tornado drill Thursday.

Polk County Emergency Management has encouraged all nine school districts to participate in the event. Below is the schedule of events:

10:00 a.m. – Test Tornado Watch issued for Iowa.  The test watch will tone alert on NOAA All Hazards Radio.

10:15 a.m. – National Weather Service in Des Moines will issue test tornado warnings.  The test warning will alert on National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration Weather Radio and Outdoor Warning Sirens will be activated.

10:30-10:35 a.m. – National Weather Service issues a Severe Weather Statement to terminate the test warnings.

11:00 a.m. – Test tornado watch expires.

What Should I Do During a Tornado Watch?

  • Listen to battery-powered NOAA Weather Radio or your local radio or television stations for updated information.
  • Be alert to rapidly-changing weather conditions. Watch for signs of a possible tornado.
  • Know where your family members are. Use this opportunity to review your Family Emergency Plan. Even if a tornado does not strike, there is still a likelihood of severe weather conditions.
  • Listen for warning sirens. This a series of all-hazards, outdoor sirens spread throughout the city. Because of the unpredictability and sudden appearance of tornadoes, it may not be possible to provide advance warning. However, if you hear the warning siren, immediately seek shelter and tune into a local radio or television station.

Polk Co. Emergency Management hopes to educate people on the difference between a watch and a warning.

Watch: A National Weather Service product indicating that a particular hazard is possible, i.e., that conditions are more favorable than usual for its occurrence. A watch is a recommendation for planning, preparation, and increased awareness.

Warning: A product issued by National Weather Service local offices indicating that a particular weather hazard is either imminent or has been reported. A warning indicates the need to take action to protect life and property.

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