78 S. Georgia Ave Mason City, IA 50401

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Weather Preparedness

Disaster Reporting Form News



If your a native Iowan you have probably heard the Phrase “Wait a few minutes it will change”, when it comes to Iowa weather. With the threat of tornados, thunderstorms, flooding, snow storms and earthquakes. Iowa has its very own fault running through the center of the state. Even though it isn’t as prominent as the latter it still is a possibility. Why not take a few minutes and sit down with your family and create a family plan for these emergencies. By clicking on the family image above you can have your very own family planing list to prepare your family for the very worst. Be proactive and prepare for these situations. “Build a kit, Make a Plan and be Aware”

Cerro Gordo Co.

March 27-31 is Severe Weather Awareness Week in Iowa

DES MOINES – The Cerro Gordo County Emergency Management, Iowa Department of Homeland Security and Emergency Management (HSEMD), and the National Weather Service (NWS) have joined together to promote Severe Weather Awareness Week in Iowa.

Severe Weather Awareness Week, March 27-31, is an opportunity to highlight the importance of being aware of, and prepared for, severe weather.

“Build a kit, Make a Plan and be Aware” with your 72 hour Pack (click on 72 hr pack family at http://www.northiowacert.org/)

For each day during Severe Weather Awareness Week, a different subject will be featured:

Monday – Severe thunderstorms

Tuesday – Weather warnings

Wednesday – Tornadoes

Thursday – Family preparedness

Friday – Flash floods

The annual tornado drill will take place on Wed., March 29, at approximately 10 a.m.  Schools, businesses, state and local governments, the military, and individuals are strongly encouraged to participate in the drill.

For more information on severe weather preparedness, visit http://www.northiowacert.org/

Fact sheets about severe weather will be available on both the NWS and Ready Iowa websites, as well as public service announcements. For more information about Severe Weather Awareness Week, to view the governor's proclamation, and to link to your local NWS website, visit the Ready Iowa website at www.beready.iowa.gov. Follow HSEMD and NWS on social media using the hashtag #IASWAW.


Be Ready Year Round

Tornadoes can occur at any time of day, any day of the year, be prepared by having a plan of action before severe weather threatens. You need to respond quickly when a warning is issued or a tornado is spotted. When are the conditions right for a tornado, when conditions are warm, humid, and windy or skies are threatening.  Be sure to listen for watches and warnings through NOAA Weather radio or logging onto weather.gov or tuning into your favorite television or radio weather information source.


Cause an average of 60-65 fatalities and 1,500 injuries each year, they can produce wind speeds in excess of 200 mph and they can be 1 mile wide and stay on the ground over 50 miles. The National Weather Service (NWS) uses the EF-Scale to assign a tornado a ‘rating’ based on estimated wind speeds and related damage.


EF RATING 3 Second Wind Gust (mph)

EF 0-65-85

EF 1- 86-110

EF 2-111-135

EF 3-136-165

EF 4-166-200

EF 5-Over 200

The Facts behind Tornados

FICTION: Lakes, rivers, and mountains protect areas from tornadoes.

FACT: No geographic location is safe from tornadoes. A tornado near Yellowstone National Park left a path of destruction up and down a 10,000 foot mountain.

FICTION: A tornado causes buildings to “explode” as the tornado passes overhead.

FACT: Violent winds and debris slamming into buildings cause the most structural damage.

FICTION: Open windows before a tornado approaches to equalize pressure and minimize damage.

FACT: Virtually all buildings leak. Leave the windows closed. Take shelter immediately. An underground shelter, basement or safe room are the safest places. If none of those options are available, go to a windowless interior room or hallway.

FICTION: Highway overpasses provide safe shelter from tornadoes.

FACT: The area under a highway overpass is very dangerous in a tornado. If you are in a vehicle, you should immediately seek shelter in a sturdy building. As a last resort, you can either: stay in the car with the seat belt on. Put your head down below the windows, covering with your hands and a blanket if possible, OR if you can safely get noticeably lower than the level of the roadway, exit your car and lie in that area, covering your head with your hands. Your choice should be driven by your specific circumstances.

FICTION: It is safe to take shelter in the bathroom, hallway, or closet of a mobile home.

FACT: Mobile homes are not safe during tornadoes! Abandon your mobile home to seek shelter in a sturdy building immediately. If you live in a mobile home, ensure you have a plan in place that identifies the closest sturdy buildings.