Omaha Public Radio News
6:51 am
Mon April 6, 2009

Eastern Nebraska, Western Iowa mark Severe Weather Awareness Week

Omaha, NE – This week is Severe Weather Awareness Week in eastern Nebraska and western Iowa.

Each year, the National Weather Service sets aside a week for public education about tornadoes, severe thunderstorms and floods. An emphasis is placed on safety and planning for severe weather events. Monday's events focus on flooding. Tuesday's focus is severe thunderstorms, and Wednesday focuses on tornadoes.

Douglas County Emergency Management Agency Director Paul Johnson says tornado sirens will sound just after ten AM Wednesday. He says the siren test is a good time for schools, businesses and individuals to practice what to do in case of a tornado. Already this year tornadoes have caused damage in eastern Nebraska and western Iowa.

Johnson says last year's violent weather demonstrated the importance of planning. He says families should have plans both at home and work detailing what to do when tornado sirens sound. Johnson says it's also essential that emergency personnel coordinate their efforts. Two natural disasters happened 19 days apart last June in Douglas County. Last year's severe weather also spawned deadly tornadoes.

Thursday's events focus on NOAA weather radios. Friday's topic is family preparedness.

You can learn more about Severe Weather Awareness Week at www.crh.noaa.gov/oax.