Jan. 18-24 is Hazardous Materials Awareness Week


This year marks the fourth year that the Iowa Department of Homeland Security and Emergency Management (HSEMD) and the Iowa Emergency Response Commission (IERC) will recognize the third full week in January as Hazardous Materials Awareness Week. The goal of the week is to provide Iowans a better understanding about hazardous materials, their proper use, storage, and disposal, and the emergency response actions that can help minimize unnecessary accidents and exposure.

“We often concentrate our efforts on dealing with forces beyond our control when it comes to the safety of our families,” said Stefanie Bond, public information officer for Iowa HSEMD. “It’s easy to forget about the hidden dangers that are lurking in our own homes – where we do have control.”

Nearly all households and businesses use products that contain hazardous materials, and hazardous materials are transported on our roadways, railways, and waterways daily. Knowing how to handle such products and how to react during an emergency can reduce the risk of illness, injury or death. Click here to learn more.




Winter Weather/Winter Driving


Photo of a streetlamp during a snowstorm.Each year, winter returns to Iowa and produces winter storms, blizzards, ice storms and periods of extremely cold temperatures as well as dangerous wind chills. It's important to take steps to be prepared for the cold, snow and ice - whether at home, at work or on the road.


First, be aware of weather conditions. Download a weather alert app to your mobile phone, buy a NOAA Weather Radio, or pay attention to local news and weather reports.


Winter weather information from the National Weather Service can be found on the National Weather Service website. Check your local National Weather Service office for more information on winter weather. Click here to find your local NWS office and link to their local website.


What else can you do? You can build an emergency supply kit for both your home and your car.


Must have items for your emergency kits:

  • Food and water for each family member for at least three days
  • At least a week’s supply of essential medications (at home)
  • Personal hygiene items
  • First aid kit
  • Battery-operated flashlight and NOAA Weather Radio
  • Extra batteries
  • Extra clothing/bedding

Some items just for your vehicle:

  • Window scraper
  • Jumper cables
  • Kitty litter or sand (for tire traction)
  • Small shovel and other tools
  • Brightly-colored cloth to use as a flag should you become stuck

In addition, before you drive this winter, you should have a mechanic check all your car’s systems and fluid levels, and make sure you have the right tires for winter driving.


Additional information about winter weather and winter driving safety, can be found by clicking here.


National Weather Service - Forecast Offices Serving Iowa



Des Moines

Adair, Adams, Appanoose, Audubon, Black Hawk, Boone, Bremer, Butler, Calhoun, Carroll, Cass, Cerro Gordo, Clarke, Crawford, Dallas, Davis, Decatur, Emmet, Franklin, Greene, Grundy, Guthrie, Hamilton, Hancock, Hardin, Humboldt, Jasper, Kossuth, Lucas, Madison, Mahaska, Marion, Marshall, Monroe, Palo Alto, Pocahontas, Polk, Poweshiek, Ringgold, Sac, Story, Tama, Taylor, Union, Wapello, Warren, Wayne, Webster, Winnebago, Worth, Wright (51)

Quad Cities

Benton, Buchanan, Cedar, Clinton, Delaware, Des Moines, Dubuque, Henry, Iowa, Jackson, Jefferson, Johnson, Jones, Keokuk, Lee, Linn, Louisa, Muscatine, Scott, Van Buren, Washington (21)

Sioux Falls, S.D.

Buena Vista, Cherokee, Clay, Dickinson, Ida, Lyon, O'Brien, Osceola, Plymouth, Sioux, Woodbury (11)

La Crosse, Wis.

Allamakee, Chickasaw, Clayton, Fayette, Floyd, Howard, Mitchell, Winneshiek (8)

Omaha, Neb.

Fremont, Harrison, Mills, Monona, Montgomery, Page, Pottawattamie, Shelby (8)



    Map of National Weather Service office service areas

Link to NWS Sioux Falls Link to NWS La Crosse Link to NWS Des Moines Link to NWS Quad Cities Link to NWS Omaha