Forms of Communication


During a major emergency, officials will work to provide timely, accurate information to the public. Several public information procedures and/or tools are in place that may be used during a major emergency or disaster.


Officials will coordinate with all members of the media, radio and television, to deliver accurate information to the public.


This system will send a recorded message to telephones in a geographically specified area or to a pre-programmed list of contacts. Sign up for CodeRed

Outdoor Warning Siren System (OWSS)

OWSS is an outdoor, all-hazards siren system that is used to warn the general population of a potential danger in a short amount of time.

NOAA Weather Radio

NOAA Weather Radio All Hazards transmitters broadcast on one of seven VHF frequencies from 162.400 MHz to 162.550 MHz. The broadcasts cannot be heard on a simple AM/FM radio receiver. There are many receiver options, however, ranging from handheld portable units which just pick up Weather Radio broadcasts, to desktop and console models which receive Weather Radio as well as other broadcasts. Prices can vary from $20 and up, depending on the model. Many receivers have an alarm feature, but some may not.

The National Weather Service does NOT manufacture any brand of weather radio receiver. We cannot recommend one brand of receiver over another, but we do recommend users look for receivers with the Public Alert and/or the NOAA Weather Radio (NWR) All Hazards logo. Devices carrying the Public Alert logo meet certain technical standards and come with many, if not all, of the features.  below. Click Here for more information and . NWS has evaluated devices carrying the NOAA Weather Radio All Hazards logo for user friendliness and performance capabilities.

Weather Radio Receivers for Consumers: The following manufacturers have had their radios evaluated according to CTA-2009-B specifications, and have received approval from the National Weather Service to use the NOAA Weather Radio All Hazards logo. NOAA Weather Radio manufacturers that have receivers approved for NWR logo use may produce other models which have not been approved by the National Weather Service. Please visit their web sites to view specifications and owner's manuals to compare features. Click Here for Manufactures List

Since most NWR transmitters are broadcasting for a number of counties, SAME receivers will respond only to alerts issued for the area (or areas) you have selected. This minimizes the number of “false alarms” for events which might be a few counties away from where you live. (Public Alert  - required). Please click here for the county codes in Iowa.

*Information provided by the National Weather Service. For more information please click here 

Emergency Vehicles’ Public Address Systems

All emergency vehicles are equipped with public address systems. These can be used to make announcements to citizens.


Messages sent out by Twitter users are limited to 140 characters, which is just enough for a quick update. 


Facebook is a free-access social networking website that allows for the posting of longer articles, photos, video, links and more.


Instagram is an American photo and video-sharing social networking service owned by Facebook, Inc.

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