Here we are...the peak of the severe weather awareness week... tornado drill day. Kind of sounds like the highlight of some religious holiday, but it is very important to check the outdoor warning sirens and have a chance to practice all the rules of staying safe during tornadoes.
At 9:50 a Tornado Watch will be issued for the state of Iowa. Then at 10:15 central Iowa will have our test Tornado Warning. The area sirens will sound and kids will move from their classrooms to the center of the school covering their heads until the sirens stop and the all-clear is given.
I remember doing this when I was in school. Back-in-the-day... we had one student that would quickly open the windows in our classroom. The thought was extreme low pressure in the center of a tornado was strong enough to create huge pressure in a building...making the structure implode. Now we know that is bunk. Buildings are not blown-up like a balloon with too much air... they are wrecked with high wind and the debris that is thrown through the air at 200 mph. Stay away from windows! To think I thought is was a cool honor to stay back and open the windows.. like I was little Super Ed...saving the class from eminent danger. Captain Storm Safe! Stop day dreaming Edwin! Oh yea.... anyway get away from windows and put as many walls between you and the outside. Stay low, in the center of the building. In the basement under a staircase or pool table or work bench is a good idea. If you can make a safe room in the basement with essentials like flashlight, blankets, weather radio. The Red Cross has a wonderful web site with a list of items for your family in severe weather or other hazardous events.
At 10:30 a special statement from the Severe Storm Prediction Center and the National Weather Service will explain what has just happened... and end the tornado warning. The tornado watch will end at 11:00.
This is time to remember what to do during severe weather. Have a safe place for your family to meet during and after severe weather events. Think it through like a fire drill.
We will make sure you stay safe with the real warnings. Keep the NOAA all-hazards radio in your home. We have a great portable weather radio available at the a-ha! Store at the Science Center of Iowa. Take it to the outdoor events or keep it in your car...stay safe all year long.
Have a great day. The sky will be blue and the temperatures warm as the sirens sound today.