The Mitchell and Worth County Emergency Management Agency, Iowa Homeland Security, Emergency Management Department (HSEMD), and the National Weather Service have joined together to promote Winter Weather Awareness Month in Iowa.

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.

An important part of the month is remind Iowans to prepare their home and vehicle with survival kits.

A big part of being prepared for winter weather is being aware of potential hazards. One preparedness step for Iowans to take now is to sign up for emergency alerts through Alert Iowa. Alert Iowa is an emergency notification system currently available in most Iowa counties. By signing up for alerts, residents in those counties can receive notifications about winter weather and other hazards and emergency conditions.

To learn which counties are offering Alert Iowa and to sign up, visit HSEMD’s website at www.homelandsecurity.iowa.gov and click on the Alert Iowa icon on the home page.

Get National Weather Service information from the Des Moines office at www.weather.gov.

HSEMD’s preparedness website, Ready Iowa, has information to help Iowans plan for winter hazards, whether at home, at work or on the road. Visit the Ready Iowa website, www.beready.iowa.gov, for downloadable brochures, emergency plans and checklists.