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Local residents are shown at last year’s storm spotter training, which again will be provided March 26.

Submitted photo
Herald Staff Writer

Clinton County is working to encourage preparedness and severe weather training.

The state of Iowa holds a Severe Weather Awareness Week and tornado drill during the first week of April. Clinton County Emergency Management Coordinator Chance Kness attended the Monday Board of Supervisors meeting to discuss the 10 a.m. April 4 statewide tornado drill.

Kness will send out letters to daycares, schools, hospitals, businesses and government entities about the statewide tornado drill. He also encourages people to replace the batteries in their weather radios and make sure they are correctly programmed.

Supervisor John Staszewski felt training in how to handle severe weather is needed. Supervisor Jill Davisson added that the weather has been very volatile during the past few years.

The board scheduled a tornado drill in the administration building with the help of Emergency Management at 10 a.m. April 2. Davisson asked Kness if the department heads should be informed of the drill or surprised. While Kness felt it did not matter, Staszewski thought they should be informed to allow for scheduling. Sheriff Rick Lincoln pointed out that the courthouse should know in case of a bench trial or other event.

“I know sometimes it's inconvenient for the public, but it’s a good lesson for the public too,” Davisson said.

County Auditor Eric Van Lancker felt it could be good to hold a drill with the public. Members of the public were present at the county’s last tornado drill as well. The board asked Kness to contact someone from the courthouse and set up a time for a drill that fits the court’s schedule.

Emergency Management will also hold storm spotter training near the end of the month.

This training covers severe weather hazards, including thunderstorms and tornadoes. Those attending will learn the general structure and movement of severe thunderstorms, how to identify important storm features and safety concerns.

This is a free event and will be held from 6:30 to 8:30 p.m. March 26 in the Clinton Community College auditorium, 1000 Lincoln Blvd. Those unable to attend may visit the National Weather Service’s website, http://www.crh.noaa.gov/dvn, for additional training opportunities.

Follow Samantha Pidde on Twitter @SamanthaPidde.

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