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The original item was published from 4/20/2023 12:08:00 PM to 4/20/2023 12:08:32 PM.

News Flash

Newton Fire Department

Posted on: March 28, 2023

[ARCHIVED] Severe Weather Awareness Week - How to obtain information about weather

Outdoor warning siren in front of a blue sky.

Learn about the hazards that can affect your community and learn how to get information about current weather and road conditions. Pay attention to the news. Local radio and television stations provide up-to-date weather information.

Wireless Emergency Alerts (WEAs)

Wireless Emergency Alerts (WEAs) are short emergency messages from authorized federal, state, local, tribal and territorial public alerting authorities that can be broadcast from cell towers to any WEA‐enabled mobile device in a locally targeted area. WEAs can be sent by state and local public safety officials, the National Weather Service, the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children and the President of the United States.

  • WEAs look like text messages but are designed to get your attention with a unique sound and vibration repeated twice.
  • WEAs are no more than 360 characters and include the type and time of the alert, any action you should take and the agency issuing the alert.
  • WEAs are not affected by network congestion and will not disrupt texts, calls or data sessions that are in progress.
  • You are not charged for receiving WEAs and there is no need to subscribe.

Emergency Alert System (EAS)

The Emergency Alert System (EAS) is a national public warning system that allows the president to address the nation within 10 minutes during a national emergency. State and local authorities may also use the system to deliver important emergency information such as weather information, imminent threats, AMBER alerts and local incident information targeted to specific areas.

NOAA Weather Radio

Investing in a National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) Weather Radio is another way to receive weather and other emergency alerts, and you can program them so that you receive only the alerts for your county or specific counties.

Alert Iowa Statewide Messaging System

Alert Iowa is the State of Iowa’s official emergency notification system. Through Alert Iowa, State and local officials are able to utilize a single, statewide notification system that provides local control of how and when to disseminate emergency and public safety messages to residents. Jasper County is participating in this program and you can sign up now to receive free alerts via text message, email, and/or voice message. Text JASPERIA to 67283 to receive alerts or visit 

511 Information 

The Iowa Department of Transportation offers real-time information on current road conditions on their website or mobile app.

Warning Sirens

Sirens are an outdoor warning system designed only to alert those who are outside that something dangerous is approaching. They are used to used to warn the general population of potential danger in a short amount of time. In Newton, Jasper County Communications Center (JCCC) is authorized to activate sirens on behalf of local communities for for tornado warnings, extreme winds and large hail. For alerts indoors, every home and business should have a NOAA Weather Radio All-Hazards. 

What the Sirens Mean

  • The warning siren will be activated by JCCC upon receipt of a tornado warning  that includes Newton in the polygon area issued by the National Weather Service.
    • Sirens may also be acativated for a tornado warning if a tornado or funnel cloud reported by a trained spotter/public safety official OR multiple 911 calls are received by the JCCC suggesting conformation of a tornado.
  • The warning siren will be activated by JCCC for high winds exceeding 72 mph or strong winds accompanied by hail capable of producing serious injury.
  • The warning siren will be activated by JCCC for golf ball size hail or larger.

What to Do When You Hear a Siren

If the sirens are activated – and it is not a monthly test – the public should see it as a signal to:

  • Seek shelter.
  • Tune into radio or television to get the latest information, instructions & recommendations.

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