The National Weather Service has postponed the Missouri Statewide Tornado Drill scheduled from tomorrow, March 4, until Thursday, March 6 at 1:30 p.m. The weather service says the postponement is due to the winter weather and other factors. The change to Thursday, which was the backup date, is for the entire state of Missouri.
The 40th annual statewide drill is part of Missouri 2014 Severe Weather Awareness Week, which runs from today through Friday, March 7.
On March 4, Missouri outdoor warning sirens 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.
Missouri’s Stormaware.mo.gov website includes detailed videos showing how to react to flash flooding and tornadoes 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.
The National Weather Service provides safety tips and educational information about each day of Severe Weather Awareness Week on the St. Louis Forecast Office site: http://www.crh.noaa.gov/lsx/?n=severeweek (Monday, Preparedness Day; Tuesday, Tornado Safety Day; Wednesday, Flash Flood Safety Day; Thursday, Severe Thunderstorm Day; Friday, NOAA Weather Radio Day).
· Tornado watch means watch the sky. A tornado may form during a thunderstorm.
· Tornado warning means seek shelter immediately.
· An interior room without windows on the lowest floor is the safest shelter location.
· 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’ 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. If you cannot get away, seek shelter in a roadside ditch. Protect yourself from flying debris by covering your head with your arms, a coat or a blanket. Be prepared to move quickly in case the ditch fills with water
· Never drive into water. It can take less than six inches of fast moving water to make a slow moving car float. Once floating, a vehicle can overturn and sink.
· NWS – Springfield, Flood Safety & Awareness site: http://www.crh.noaa.gov/sgf/?n=floodawarenessweek
· Missouri Department of Transportation Travelers Map: http://www.modot.mo.gov/
· Missouri Ready In 3 program: http://www.dhss.mo.gov/Ready_in_3/
· FEMA’s Animals in Emergencies for Pet Owners DVD: http://www.fema.gov/individual/animals.shtm.
· Missouri StormAware: http://stormaware.mo.gov
Please contact your local NWS office for interviews about Severe Weather Awareness Week or for additional information:
St. Louis: (636) 441-8467
Kansas City: (816) 540-6021
Springfield: (417) 869-4491
Paducah, Ky.: (270) 744-6440
Memphis, Tenn.: (901) 544-0401
Davenport, Iowa: (563) 388-0672