Iowa observes statewide tornado drill - KWWL - Eastern Iowa Breaking News, Weather, Closings

Iowa observes statewide tornado drill

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DUBUQUE (KWWL) -

Severe weather sirens sounded around the state a little after 10 a.m. Wednesday, for a statewide drill.  But the National Weather Service says they're not for everybody.

The NWS reminds people the sirens are to warn those who are outside to seek shelter. Once inside, there are different safety steps to take.

Senna Ferguson lives in Dubuque's Alpine Park mobile home community, where a siren on the premises is not the only form of safety.

"We've got shelter houses. There's two right now, but there's one in the making," she said. "You can go to those, and we always get plenty of warning."

Once people seek shelter, meteorologists suggest turning to a TV or a weather radio for continued alerts.

"This is pretty much your guaranteed warning for any type of severe weather that's going to be headed your way," KWWL Storm Track 7 meteorologist Jennifer Hildreth said, gesturing to a weather radio. "You're going to have advanced notice, you're going to have time to get to your basement and keep you and your family safe."

She was at Theisen's in Dubuque Wednesday helping people such as customer Carol Hager program their weather radios.

"It's just kind of nice having the peace of mind of having a radio and knowing exactly what's going on, because we are, like, 10 miles in the country," Hager said.

"You hear the tornado sirens, you hear the weather radios go off. Take it seriously every time," Hildreth said. "I think pretty much everyone in Parkersburg would tell you that."

Weather radios vary in size and price. As long as it has the NOAA symbol, people will get alerts from the National Weather Service. A weather radio also issues amber alerts and hazardous material alerts.

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