Iowa’s heading into tornado season and forecasters say every household in the state should have a battery-powered weather radio. The devices can be programmed to go off only when a watch or warning is issued for your county or metro area.
Jeff Johnson, a meteorologist with the National Weather Service’s Des Moines office, says the weather radio system was expanded in recent years. Johnson says nearly all of Iowa is now covered with the installation of 22 transmitters, though a few small pockets remain. Johnson says a weather radio is good to have around the house, just in case you don’t have your favorite radio station tuned in when severe weather hits.
Johnson says "You might be listening to the radio, you might get your warnings from there, but when you’re inside with the radio turned off, you need a way to get woken up and you need a way to get alerted to a hazard when you don’t have anything else on." He says now’s the right time to buy a weather radio, as they’re not costly — starting around 20-dollars. Johnson says to make sure you get one that allows you to program it for your area.
For more information about Severe Weather Awareness Week, visit the National Weather Service website.