Next week, March 24th through the 28th, is Severe Weather Awareness Week. Cass County Emergency Management Director Mike Kennon says a Statewide Tornado Drill will take place on or about 10:15-a.m., with the warning sirens being activated throughout the County, and weather radios sounding their alerts. Kennon says the tornado drill will be an excellent opportunity for Cass County residents, businesses and schools to practice their own procedures in the event of severe weather.
In the event of severe weather or potential severe weather on the day of the test, these test watches may be postponed. More information about Severe Weather Awareness Week and the related Tornado Drill will be released in the coming days.
Another form of severe weather is extremely dry and windy conditions that can cause controlled burns to quickly spread and become out of control, placing lives and property in danger. As we’ve mentioned before, numerous Counties this week instituted a ban on open burning, including Fremont, Page, Pottawattamie, Mills and Montgomery Counties. Shelby County began their bi-weekly updates on the Fire Danger in that county, on Monday, with the risk currently being “High” for fires to spread.
Kennon says there is no ban on open, outdoor burning in Cass County, but that may change. He says the matter will be discussed during a County Fire Association meeting Thursday night. Local fire chiefs can elect to place a burn ban in effect for their specific district, if they wish, but in general, a consensus is obtained from all the chiefs to call for a County-wide Burn Ban, which is more formal and encompassing. Anyone thinking about conducting a controlled burn in the mean time, needs to do two things, according to Kennon…
He says you need to call your local fire chief and get their permission, and if that’s granted, call the Cass County Communications Center to inform them about when and where you plan to burn, so fire department personnel and equipment needlessly respond to what may be perceived by others to be an uncontrolled burn. For a current list of counties with a burn ban in-place or those that will be in effect, go to http://www.dps.state.ia.us/fm/main/burnbans/