Severe weather is common across Iowa, especially in the spring and summer months, although they can still happen in the fall and winter, too. There are several ways you can prepare yourself and your loved ones before severe weather strikes.

Ways to get weather information

  • Smartphone (weather apps, social media, wireless emergency alerts (WEA), friends and family)
  • Local TV/Radio
  • Outdoor Sirens (if outdoors only)
  • NOAA Weather Radio
  • Computer

Having MULTIPLE ways to get weather information is one of the most important ways to prepare ahead of severe weather chances.

Make a plan

It’s also important to talk with family members or those you live or work with about what to do and where to go when warnings are issued. Develop a plan with your family members so they understand why certain rooms and levels are safer than others and which items you should keep in designated your safe room.

Questions to ask:

  • Which level of this home/building is the safest?
    *Your safe room should be located on the lowest level of every building
  • Am I the farthest away from windows and doors that I can be?
    *Your safe room should have no windows if possible with multiple walls between you and the outdoors
  • Do we have an emergency kit with supplies we may need?
  • If we get separated after or during an event, do we have a designated meet-up spot?

Be sure to practice/review that plan at least

Emergency Kit

If large areas are damaged, it may take time for help to arrive. Having an emergency kit ready and already in your safe room will ensure that you have all things necessary to survive should the worst happen.

Things to keep in your emergency kit:

  • Water and non-perishable food for each person for 3-5 days
  • First aid kit
  • Money
  • Battery-operated flashlight and radio, and extra batteries for each
  • Extra clothing and bedding (including shoes)
  • Whistle to call for help
  • Personal hygiene items
  • Books/games for children
  • Specialty items such as prescription medications, baby formula, diapers and pet supplies
  • Plates, cups, utensils and a can opener
  • Copies of important documents such as driver’s licenses, birth certificates, insurance policies and financial information has more things you should consider putting in your emergency kit.