State officials who prepare and respond to emergencies say the state will soon enter a four-month period when the majority of natural disasters occur in Iowa.
“If you look at all the major disasters that have occurred in Iowa since 1953, those disasters that have resulted in a presidential disaster designation, 51 percent have occurred in the months of April, May and June,” says Mark Schouten, administrator of the Iowa Homeland Security Emergency Management division. “Twenty-one percent alone have occurred in the month of May.”
If you add in the month of July, you account for 65 percent of the major natural disasters that have happened in Iowa over the past half century. Schouten is urging Iowans to get prepared for emergencies by putting together an emergency kit and talking with family and friends about an emergency communications plan if disaster strikes. He’s also urging Iowans to pay attention to weather forecasts.
Governor Terry Branstad dedicated the first half of his weekly news conference to emergency preparedness issues.
Branstad told reporters he’s heard first-hand from people who’ve survived a tornado or some other disaster who took shelter after hearing a broadcast warning.
“We do want to thank the media for the hep that you all provide when we do have severe weather because a lot of lives have been saved because people are listening to the radio, watching television,” Branstad said during his weekly statehouse news conference. “They get timely information and that can really make a difference.”
AUDIO of governor’s news conference.