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University of Iowa News Release

 

April 2, 2010

Note: This release was updated April 5, 2010, to include updated information about Hawk Alert.

UI reminds campus of severe weather Web site, policy ahead of awareness week

Next week marks national Severe Weather Awareness Week, and University of Iowa faculty, staff and students should use the occasion to familiarize themselves with the campus severe weather Web site, policies and resources.

The UI’s Severe Weather Web site, also accessible from the UI homepage, may be found at http://www.uiowa.edu/homepage/severe-weather/.

The site includes information about the UI’s severe weather policy, the HawkAlert emergency notification system, event cancellations and what to do if a tornado threatens the area.

Johnson County residents should expect two tests of the countywide siren system during Severe Weather Awareness Week. The first is scheduled for 9 a.m. Monday, April 5, (part of the regular monthly testing of the system) and the second will take place at 10 a.m. Wednesday, April 7, in conjunction with a statewide tornado drill being conducted by the National Weather Service.

The university also has an outdoor warning siren system, which will be activated as part of Monday's tests. During Wednesday's statewide test, the UI will also send a test message out through Hawk Alert, a campus-wide system that uses text and voice messaging and e-mail notifications to alert the campus of imminent threats to health and safety.

In the event of a real emergency, the signal indicates that people should take shelter immediately. But because sirens are intended for people who are outside, the UI Office of Public Safety urges campus community members to take additional measures to ensure that they are aware of impending severe weather:

* Make sure your notification information is updated on Hawk Alert. Additional information may be found at http://hawkalert.uiowa.edu/.

* Consider signing up for free weather alerts offered by local and news outlets that can be sent to your phone or e-mail address.

* Keep informed on current weather conditions. The National Weather Service provides a Web site where you can receive weather information for the Iowa City area along with other detailed weather related information. The Web site is at http://www.crh.noaa.gov/dvn/.

* Consider investing in a weather radio or an inexpensive portable radio and keep it on when severe weather conditions exist.

* Review the tornado section of the UI’s Critical Incident Management Plan at http://www.uiowa.edu/~pubsfty/cimp.pdf.

“It is vital to understand there isn’t a process to absolutely ensure that everyone will receive notification of extreme weather conditions in a timely manner,” said Chuck Green, assistant vice president and director of the UI Department of Public Safety. “The best safety plan in any situation includes shared responsibility.”

STORY SOURCE: University of Iowa News Services, 300 Plaza Centre One, Iowa City, Iowa 52242-2500

MEDIA CONTACT: Stephen Pradarelli, 319-384-0007, stephen-pradarelli@uiowa.edu