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The Rolla Daily News - Rolla, MO
  • Severe Weather Awareness Week is March 3-7

  • The National Weather Service (NWS), State Emergency Management Agency (SEMA) and Missouri's local emergency management offices urge Missourians to use Missouri Severe Weather Awareness Week, March 3-7, to plan and prepare for how they will react to tornadoes, flash flooding and other severe weather.
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  • The National Weather Service (NWS), State Emergency Management Agency (SEMA) and Missouri's local emergency management offices urge Missourians to use Missouri Severe Weather Awareness Week, March 3-7, to plan and prepare for how they will react to tornadoes, flash flooding and other severe weather.
    Missouri will conduct the 40th annual statewide tornado drill Tuesday, March 4, at 1:30 p.m. If severe weather is in the forecast Tuesday, the drill will be moved to Thursday, March 6, at 1:30 p.m.
    “It’s important to remember that tornadoes and dangerous flash flooding can develop rapidly and with little warning,” Gov. Jay Nixon said. “I encourage Missourians to talk at home, at work and at school about severe weather safety so that in times of real emergency, folks are prepared for whatever Mother Nature brings.”
    SEMA Director Michael Barrett said, "I encourage all Missourians, including schools, businesses and recreational groups, to use Severe Weather Awareness Week to plan and practice how they will respond to severe weather in specific scenarios — indoors, outside and while traveling. Reacting quickly and properly can save lives.”
    Missouri recorded 49 tornadoes in 2013 resulting in 10 injuries.
    On March 4, Missouri outdoor warning sirens and weather alert radios will sound, indicating that Missourians should seek shelter during the statewide tornado drill. The safest shelter location is the basement or an interior room in the lowest level of a building. The drill is complete once everyone is accounted for in the designated shelters.
    The website, stormaware.mo.gov, includes detailed videos showing how to react to severe weather and shelter in specific types of buildings — houses with and without basements, mobile homes, schools — and important information about tornado sirens and weather alert radios.
    The site also includes links to free severe weather texting services that can alert people across Missouri to upcoming severe weather.
    Severe weather preparedness tips
    • Prepare an emergency kit and make a family communications plan.
    • Listen to a NOAA Weather Radio for the latest information and ensure the weather radio has fresh batteries and is set to the correct frequency to receive a warning for your area.
    • During a severe thunderstorm watch, stay aware of weather updates. Locate radio, phone, purse/wallet, blanket and flashlight.
    • During a severe thunderstorm warning, go to your safe place: such the interior portions of your home. Stay away from windows and doors.
    • A tornado watch means watch the sky. A tornado may form during a thunderstorm.
    • A tornado warning means seek shelter immediately.
    • Identify an emergency shelter location in your home. The safest place is the interior part of a basement or storm cellar. If there is no basement, use an inside room on the lowest floor (such as a center hallway, bathroom, closet). Avoid windows, skylights or glass doors, which could be broken by strong winds or hail and cause damage or injury.
    Page 2 of 2 - • Do not seek shelter in a cafeteria, gymnasium or other large open room because the roof might collapse.
    • Immediately leave a mobile home to seek shelter in a nearby building.
    • Overpasses are not safe. An overpass's under-the-girder-type construction can cause a dangerous wind tunnel effect.
    • If you are driving, you should 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.
    • Never drive into standing water. It can take less than 6 inches of fast moving water to make a slow moving car float. Once floating, a vehicle can overturn and sink.
    • If you are outside during a severe storm and there is no adequate shelter immediately available, lie flat in the nearest ditch, ravine or culvert and shield your head with your hands. Avoid areas with many trees. Do not get under any vehicle, no matter what its size.
    (Tips courtesy of the National Weather Service and Missouri Department of Public Safety)

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