Severe Weather Reminders and Use of the Thomas Park Safe Room
Spring has officially arrived, unfortunately so has the threat of severe weather. In Iowa, Severe Weather Preparedness Week is March 27-31. The week serves as an opportunity to increase awareness of and response to severe weather hazards.
When severe weather is in the forecast, it is important to stay informed and have a plan in place for where to seek shelter.
“If you are in a building during a tornado warning, it is important to go to the lowest possible level and put as many walls between you and the outside,” says Deputy Fire Marshal Shawn Fluharty. “If you are outside without access to a sturdy shelter, lie flat in a nearby ditch or depression and cover your head with your hands. Never try to outrun a tornado in a vehicle.”
Marion is fortunate to have a tornado shelter/safe room located in the basement of the Administrative and Operations Building at Thomas Park, 343 Marion Boulevard.
It is designed to provide shelter for park and trail users of Thomas/Legion Park or attendees/participants of the adjacent Marion Independent School District’s sports complex.
“This shelter is a great community asset, especially for those who are enjoying the outdoors and taken off guard by a severe storm,” says Mike Carolan, director of Parks and Recreation. “While we would never turn anyone away, it is important for folks to seek shelter where they are rather than drive across town to the Safe Room.”
The Safe Room is not accessible 24-hours per day. It unlocks once a tornado warning has been issued for the Marion area during park hours between 6 a.m. and 10 p.m.
No pets, other than certified service dogs, are allowed in the Safe Room.