When severe weather strikes, seconds can make all the difference.
That's why every year, Iowa and Illinois hold annual tornado drills during their respective Severe Weather Awareness Weeks. Illinois' was the first week of March. Iowa's is the first week in April, with the drill held today, April 4th, 2012.
The drill comes one day after several tornadoes swept through the Dallas/Fort Worth area in Texas, destroying homes and businesses as well as canceling hundreds of flights at the Dallas/Fort Worth International Airport. Warning Coordination Meteorologist with the National Weather Service of the Quad Cities, Donna Dubberke, says it's severe weather like that in Texas that can be a reality check to our area.
"People respond differently to hazard, but the reality is we live in the Midwest and in the Midwest, we know severe weather will happen," says Dubberke. "it's a question of when, it's a question of timing, and it's a question of being alert and ready when it does."
Dubberke says the Quad City area is entering the peak of its severe weather season, where we are most likely to experience not only tornadoes, but also wind storms, hail, and flooding throughout the months of April and May.
She says the purpose of Severe Weather Awareness Week is for residents, businesses, and schools to practice looking for a safe, secure place to go to and review their safety plans.
"It could save your life," Dubberke says.