Severe Weather Preparedness Week and Statewide Tornado Drill emphasize readiness to protect Missourians from severe weather
To prepare, from March 1 to 5, the National Weather Service, State Emergency Management Agency and local emergency managers are encouraging Missourians to learn more about severe weather and how to protect themselves during Missouri Severe Weather Preparedness Week. Missouri’s annual Statewide Tornado Drill will be held on Tuesday, March 2 at 10 a.m.
At 10 a.m. on March 2, outdoor warning sirens and weather alert radios across the state will sound, signaling the beginning of the statewide tornado drill and indicating that Missourians should practice taking shelter.
If severe weather is in the forecast for March 2, the tornado drill will be moved to Thursday, March 4 at 10 a.m.
· A tornado watch means tornadoes are possible in the area therefore it’s important to be ready to act quickly if it becomes necessary. Tornadoes can form during thunderstorms.
· A tornado warning means seek shelter immediately because a tornado has been sighted or indicated by radar causing imminent danger to life and property.
· The safest shelter location is an interior room without windows on the lowest floor.
· Do not seek shelter in a cafeteria, gymnasium or other large open room because the roof might collapse.
· Immediately leave a mobile hometo seek shelter in a nearby building.
· Overpasses are not safe. Their under-the-girder-type construction can cause a dangerous wind tunnel effect.
· If you are driving,stop and take shelter in a nearby building.
· If you are driving in a rural area, drive away from the tornado to the closest building. If you cannot get away, stay in your car with your seatbelt on. Protect yourself from flying debris by placing your head in between your legs underneath the window line and covering it with your arms, a coat or a blanket.
· Never drive into standing water. It can take less than six inches of fast-moving water to make a slow-moving car float. Rapidly rising water may engulf the vehicle and sweep it away.
More information can be found on Missouri’s Stormaware.mo.gov website, which includes detailed videos about how to take shelter from tornadoes in specific locations, how to avoid flash flooding and useful information about tornado sirens, and weather alert radios. Missourians are also encouraged to utilize Missouri’s Ready in 3 program to create a plan, prepare a kit, and listen for information regarding severe weather emergencies: https://health.mo.gov/emergencies/readyin3/