Nov. 9 designated as Winter Weather Awareness Day in Iowa

DES MOINES – Gov. Kim Reynolds has signed a proclamation designating Nov. 9, 2017, as Winter Weather Awareness Day in Iowa. 


The Iowa Department of Homeland Security and Emergency Management (HSEMD), the National Weather Service (NWS), and local emergency management agencies recognize Winter Weather Awareness Day in early November each year. 


Although winter does not officially start until Dec. 21, now is the time to prepare for the coming winter weather. The change in seasons can produce winter storms, blizzards, ice storms, periods of extremely cold temperatures, and dangerous wind chills. Frostbite, hypothermia, and motor vehicle accidents pose real threats to the safety of all Iowans. Being prepared at home and on the road can mean the difference between life and death. 


Winter weather safety tips

  • Stay indoors when possible.
  • Dress warmly in loose-fitting, layered, light-weight clothing.
  • Avoid overexertion. Cold weather puts added strain on the heart. If you do shovel snow, be sure to take frequent breaks.
  • Keep dry and change wet clothing frequently to prevent loss of body heat.
  • Don’t drive in bad weather if it’s not necessary. The leading cause of death during winter storms is transportation accidents.
  • Have your vehicle systems checked by a mechanic, and install good winter tires.
  • Maintain at least half a tank of gas at all times.
  • Keep an emergency supply kit in your car.
  • If you are stranded, stay in the car and hang a brightly-colored cloth on the radio antenna to draw attention

Additional winter weather information can be found on the Winter Weather page.


Winter weather information from the National Weather Service offices serving Iowa can be found on the National Weather Service website. Check your local National Weather Service office for more information.


The National Weather Service is working with its partners to build a Weather-Ready Nation to support community resilience in the face of increasing vulnerability to extreme weather. Visit your local NWS office website, and follow them on social media:


Follow the hashtags #IAwx #WinterPrep on Twitter and Facebook.


There are three simple steps you can take to be prepared any time of year:

  • Build a kit. Your emergency supply kit should have everything you need to sustain you and your family for 3-5 days. Get a checklist you can use to put together your own kit.

  • Make a plan. Knowing what to do in the event of an emergency is key. Make sure everyone in your family knows what to do. Get your family plan here.

  • Be Aware. Learn about the hazards that can affect your community, and learn how to get information about current weather and road conditions.