The Ottumwa Courier

Local News

March 26, 2013

Ottumwa helps make Iowa safer — and louder

OTTUMWA — Ottumwa already tests its outdoor warning system on a monthly basis. But an extra check of the sirens couldn’t hurt.

That’s one of the reasons Ottumwa Fire Department Chief Tony Miller has agreed to follow the state’s lead and conduct a drill along with other cities around Iowa.

The test will be 10 a.m. Wednesday.

State officials have requested that every community with an outdoor warning system turn the sirens on at the same time.

This will be Ottumwa’s first time participating in the statewide simultaneous test, Miller said.

Many people, the fire chief believes, are unaware that the “tornado sirens” are actually called the outdoor warning system. So every month, the OFD gets calls from residents complaining that they were home watching television and couldn’t quite hear the sirens. That’s OK, firefighters tell concerned residents. They’re only meant to alert people who are outside, away from broadcast media that people indoors have access to.

“If you’re inside,” said Miller, “get on a weather channel on the TV or the radio. The best thing to have is a weather radio.”

The weather radios, which cost about $30 at retailers, can be set to only activate if there’s a tornado or other emergency in the owner’s local area. When it activates in those cases, there’s trouble.

Which leads to the one other piece of advice from the lifelong emergency responder: If you do find out there’s a warning, do not delay. Seek shelter immediately. A warning for your area, he said, means the emergency is there right now. And as fast as things like tornadoes move, he said, residents have to be quick. A tornado might miss a resident’s home or be there in less than a minute.

“The statewide test, it’s one of those deals that it comes when severe weather isn’t that far [in the future],” Miller said.

1
Text Only
Local News
  • 0418 OTT Five Things logo -T -L -M Five things to do in southeast Iowa this weekend OTTUMWA — It's a weekend of Easter celebrations, historic events and educational opportunities in southeast Iowa. Many people are gathered together this weekend, and the surrounding communities have scheduled events perfect for the whole family. 1. S

    April 17, 2014 1 Photo

  • 0418 OTT Joe Tafta bw photo -L -T -M Pursuing opportunities OTTUMWA — Joe Tafta follows the rules. The Simpson College junior hopes to be a U.S. marshal one day, so he’s careful about what he says and does. But not always. On the afternoon of April 1, Tafta says, he nearly got booted out of Dunn Library for m

    April 17, 2014 2 Photos

  • 0418 OTT OEDC director -T Guiding our growth OTTUMWA — An organization designed to help Ottumwa grow has found a new employee in Indiana. The Ottumwa Economic Development Corporation (OEDC) board has chosen Sharon Stroh as the group's new executive director. “We are confident she will hit the g

    April 17, 2014 1 Photo

  • 0417 OTT Earth day color photo 1 -T -M Cargill celebrates Earth Day by educating ALBIA — In honor of Earth Day on Tuesday, April 22, employees from Cargill Eddyville and Cargill Pork are visiting with students at Grant Elementary and Lincoln Center in Albia all this week. On Wednesday the Courier caught up with them as they went

    April 16, 2014 3 Photos

  • 0417 OTT Saving Center color photo -T -L -M Hedrick building has friends HEDRICK — The community wants a civic center, and they've been willing to work for it. "I'd say we have 15 to 25 volunteers each time," Tommy Smith of Hedrick said. "These are all good people." Smith was volunteering his services at the Easter Brunch

    April 16, 2014 1 Photo

  • Southern Iowa farmers preparing for planting OTTUMWA — Even though the winter seemed to linger like Iowa was going through an ice age and cold and wet weather has highlighted the early spring, farmers are starting to get out to their fields to put down fertilizer and get fields ready for planti

    April 16, 2014

  • 0417 OTT Camp Wapello fence photo -T -M -L Good fence irritates good neighbor DRAKESVILLE — For 82 years, Camp Wapello’s iconic entryway has welcomed people to peacefully coexist with nature. Now there’s a 400-foot barbed wire fence down the middle of the road. In February, Davis County Supervisors approved vacating of portion

    April 16, 2014 1 Photo

  • Carrying bookbags a balancing act OTTUMWA — Permission slips. Notes from teachers. School activity announcements, birthday invitations, report cards and homework to sign. Kids bring home a lot of stuff. But is it done fairly? The school board this week was asked by ranking members of

    April 16, 2014

  • Van Buren supervisors deny hog confinement permit application KEOSAUQUA — A proposed swine building in Chequest Township didn’t receive a seal of approval from Van Buren County Board of Supervisors. Supervisors voted Monday to recommend to the Department of Natural Resources (DNR) to deny the permit. Supervisor

    April 16, 2014

  • 0417 OTT Beth Howard bw cover -L -T -M 'Ms. American Pie' tours with her new book ELDON — With many hours and countless miles on her RV "The Beast," Eldon's pie lady, Beth Howard, is celebrating the release of her new book with a tour of southwestern states. Howard's second book, "Ms. American Pie: Buttery Good Pie Recipes and Bol

    April 16, 2014 2 Photos

Photo reprints


Obituaries

Facebook
E-edition