UCM to Join Statewide Tornado Drill March 5
Contact: Jeff Murphy
WARRENSBURG, MO (Feb. 25, 2013) – In an effort to promote emergency preparedness, the University of Central Missouri is planning a campus wide tornado drill at 12:15 p.m. Tuesday, March 5, the same day as a statewide drill. The statewide observance is being coordinated at 1:30 p.m. by the Missouri State Emergency Management Agency (SEMA), but to help lessen the impact on academic areas, UCM has selected an alternate time for the campus event. If severe storms are in the Warrensburg area on Tuesday, March 5, the event will be postponed until another date to be announced.
According to a letter sent to campus by Deborah Curtis, provost and chief learning officer and a member of the emergency planning team, at the time of UCM’s tornado drill, campus warning systems will sound via sirens, building public address systems, and Textcaster, the university’s emergency text message service. The university asks that all students, administrators, faculty and staff members immediately take precautions as they would during an actual tornado. Faculty members should temporarily dismiss class and help guide their students toward the lowest possible level of the building, office supervisors should do the same with their employees, and residence hall staff should also be prepared to guide students to the safest locations in campus housing units. Other precautions include seeking cover in interior rooms or hallways, avoiding windows and doors, and remaining there until the “all-clear” signal is provided over the university alert system, i.e. sirens, building public address systems, and Textcaster. The entire drill is expected to take about 15 minutes.
Curtis noted that in the days prior to the tornado drill, members of the campus community are strongly encouraged to review the Emergency Preparedness Procedure signs that are posted throughout each building in which they work, reside or attend class. They should go to the lowest possible level and review that specific floor plan, which will identify designated safe areas during a tornado in addition to offering safety tips, she said. To learn more about storm preparedness, visit SEMA’s web site at http://stormaware.mo.gov/ or go to www.fema.gov.