Monday marks the start of Severe Weather Awareness Week. And on Wednesday the National Weather Service will hold a statewide tornado drill between 10 and 11 am, provided there is no actual severe weather taking place.
“Take just a few minutes and develop a plan,” says Kelsey Angel, a meteorologist for the National Weather Service in Des Moines. “Ask yourself what would you be doing, or where would you seek shelter? As you’re driving to work or school. Or you’re at work or school, you’re at home, or if you’re at a different location, away from shelter. What precautions, and what steps would you take, to keep yourself safe?’
Angle says that isn’t not a question of “if” but “when” severe weather will strike. In Iowa, damaging winds, large hail, flash flooding, and tornadoes are more common during the spring.
During a tornado, it’s best to seek shelter on the lowest level and in the most interior small space you can find.
“Sometimes that’s a closet, sometime that’s a bathroom. The idea is that you want to put as many walls between you and the potential impact from the tornado. And then you also want to cover your head and protect yourself from flying debris,” says Angle.