Frequently Asked Questions

These are the answers to a few of the frequent questions we receive. If you have additional questions you would like answers to, send us an message so we can include it.

 What are the Linn County Emergency Management Agency office hours?

Our offices are staffed Monday through Friday from 8:00 AM until 4:30 PM.

  • Office hours may vary due to operational requirements.

 How do I contact Linn County Emergency Management after hours?

Linn County HAZMAT and Linn County Emergency Management Staff are available 24/7 by pager.

If need immediate assistance, please contact the Linn County Sheriff's Office Communications Center at (319) 398-3911 and asked to have a staff member paged.  They will return your call as soon as possible.

 Why are the sirens going off?

The first Wednesday of every month at 8:45am there is a test of the outdoor warning sirens.

During severe weather, if you hear the outdoor warning sirens go IMMEDIATELY to your basement, if you don’t have a basement, go to an interior hallway away from windows, and tune into your local radio or TV station for important information.

 Why can’t I hear the sirens from inside my house?

The outdoor warning sirens are in place to warn people OUTDOORS of immediate danger and they should go IMMEDIATELY indoors to a basement, if there is no basement, go to an interior hallway away from windows, and tune into your local radio or TV station for important information.

DO NOT go outside to hear the sirens better.

 If there is a local disaster, should I go pick up my children at school?

In the event of a community disaster, please tune to your local TV or radio stations for information and instruction.  The local Emergency Alert System radio stations are Clear Channel 600 AM and 96.5 FM.  In some instances, plans are in place to evacuate school children and local media will advise as to the best place to pick up your children for your safety and theirs.

 Is the best place to be during a tornado the southwest corner of a building?

This is a myth!  The southwest corner is no safer than any other part of the building.  The safest place to be is in a basement under something sturdy.  If there is no basement, go to an interior hallway away from windows.

 Should you open the windows to equalize the pressure from an approaching tornado?

This is a myth!  Opening windows to equalize pressure during a tornado is ineffective in reducing damage.  Don’t worry about the windows; worry about protecting yourself.  Also, flying glass is a real hazard.

 Can’t you outrun a tornado in a car?

A tornado is unpredictable; you can’t know which way the tornado is going or how fast.  If you are in a car and a tornado is near, get away from the car and lie in a ditch or low area, protecting your head with you hands.

 What do I do if I witness a hazardous materials incident?

You should completely avoid the incident and report it immediately by calling 9-1-1.