Are you

Ready Iowa?

Emergencies are a part of life. Fire, police, and emergency medical services may be delayed in an emergency or unable to respond. Whether it is tornadoes, flooding, winter storms, or an act of terrorism, emergencies can occur quickly and without warning. Although we cannot prevent emergencies, we can prepare for them.

Family looking at laptop and brochures making an emergency plan

November 4 is Winter Weather Awareness Day

November 4th is Iowa’s Winter Weather Awareness Day. The day was created to help prepare Iowans for the winter season ahead.

Winter storms can bring heavy snow, ice, strong winds and freezing rain. Heavy snow and ice can also cause structural damages and power outages. A major winter storm can be lethal. Preparing for cold weather conditions and responding to them effectively can reduce the dangers caused by winter storms.

Winter Safety Tips

  • Be weather aware. Sign up for emergency alerts and follow the news as winter storms approach.
  • Winterize your home to protect against the cold.
  • Have emergency supplies on hand in case the power goes out.
  • Have a mechanic complete a winter weather check on your vehicle.
  • Pack a winter emergency supply kit for your car.
  • Dress in layers and prepare yourself for exposure to colder temperatures.

About us

What We Do

The Iowa Department of Homeland Security and Emergency Management (HSEMD) has been working to make Iowa more prepared for disasters since it began as the State Civil Defense Agency in 1965. The focus of emergency management and the hazards faced by Iowans may have changed in some ways since that time, but what hasn’t changed is our commitment to making our state more prepared for any emergency or disaster.  

Following the terrorist attacks of Sept. 11, 2001, the department, then a division under the Iowa Department of Public Defense, was directed by the governor to coordinate Iowa’s homeland security efforts. While this broadened our mission, our underlying priority of ensuring Iowa is prepared and ready to respond to any disaster drives all we do.

While the likelihood of a terrorist act being committed in Iowa is unknown, we will continue to be affected by floods, tornadoes, snow storms, plane crashes, and other natural and human-caused disasters. HSEMD approaches these and other emergency situations with an emphasis on maximizing resources by using and expanding upon current capacities and building core capabilities that ensure we are prepared for all hazards.

Iowa HSEMD Logo

Disaster & EMERGENCY Preparedness

Be Ready in 3 Steps



Make a Plan

Knowing what to do in the event of an emergency is key. Make sure everyone in your family knows the drill.



Build a Kit

Your emergency supply kit should have everything you need to sustain you and your family for 3-5 days. Use a checklist to create your own kit.



Be Aware

Learn about the hazards that can affect your community and learn how to get information about current weather and road conditions. 

READY IOWA has social media resources that you can share to promote preparedness in your home and community.