State Tornado Drill Set for March 13
Contact: Jeff Murphy
WARRENSBURG, MO (March 7, 2012) – While some Missouri and Kansas communities continue to recover from recent tornadoes, the National Weather Service in Pleasant Hill is encouraging individuals in both states to be prepared for these powerful storms through their participation in the Statewide Tornado Drill. The event will take place beginning at 1:30 p.m. Tuesday, March 13.
Local warning sirens, including those at the University of Central Missouri, will be activated at this time in order to test tornado warning systems. As this happens, individuals across Missouri and Kansas are encouraged to participate in tornado drills as a way to test their readiness.
Lori Dake, who recently became manager of environmental health and safety in the UCM Department of Public Safety, said a formal drill will not take place on campus. She will utilize internal and external communication to make the campus and other individuals aware of what people should do in case of an actual tornado, and where to go.
“The news media has been filled with reports of tornadoes in recent days and we’ve all seen the images of the aftermath,” Dake said. “It’s important for everyone to understand what they can do to be better prepared.”
Dake added that she plans to work with campus constituents to plan a full-scale tornado drill sometime in the future. Meanwhile, she highlighted a number of ways individuals can improve readiness in case of a severe weather event.
One of the first steps toward preparedness is to create a communication plan with family and friends. Think about where you need to go if a tornado strikes while you’re at home, school, work or in a vehicle.
Also, consider creating an emergency kit, with items such as a flashlight and radio with batteries. More information is available at www.ready.gov/.
Stay informed by listening to local media. Media can give you an idea about possible tornadoes in an area before you hear emergency warning sirens. Local residents are urged to tune to KWKJ 98.5 FM,
KTBG 90.9 FM, KOKO 1450 AM, or Kansas City television stations, WDAF-TV Fox 4, KCTV5,
KMBC-TV 9, KSHB-TV 41. UCM’s public television station KMOS-TV 6.1, 6.2 and 6.3 also displays a crawl with tornado and severe thunderstorm watch and warning information. Other tips include:
- Stay alert during changing weather conditions. If storms are approaching, be prepared to take shelter immediately. Some danger signs include: dark, often greenish sky; large, dark, low-lying cloud that may be rotating; large hail; loud roar, similar to a freight train.
- Flying debris is the cause of many deaths and injuries during a tornado. Move away from windows and glass doorways; go to the innermost part of the building and the lowest possible floor; do not use elevators, because power may fail and leave you trapped. Also, protect your head, and crouch down to make yourself the smallest target possible.
- If a tornado strikes while you are outside, lie flat in a ditch or depression. Cover your head with your hands and be aware of potential flooding. It is safer to get in a low, flat location, than under an overpass or bridge. Do not try to outrun a tornado if you are in an urban or congested area. Instead, leave the vehicle immediately and seek safe shelter.
Additional information can be found at a number of websites, including www.ready.gov.tornadoes, www.disasterprep101.com/tornadoes.htm, and www.phe.gov/emergency/events/Pages/missouri-tornado2011.aspx.
For more information contact Lori Dake at 543-4123.