March 6, 2003

Sirens To Sound Across State March 11 For Severe Weather Drill

As part of Severe Weather Awareness Week in Missouri the State Emergency Management Agency (SEMA) will be performing a severe weather drill statewide in Missouri on March 11 at 1:30 p.m.

Tornado alarms will be sounded across the state at this time. A drill message will be sent over the NOAA Weather Radio system as an actual tornado warning announcing the test. The event marks the 29th annual severe weather test held by the state.

Last year 12 deaths and 65 injuries were attributed to severe weather in Missouri. The bulk of the problems were caused by the 29 tornadoes recorded in the state. They accounted for four fatalities and 56 injuries. Flash floods caused three deaths and seven injuries. Lightning was the most fatal severe weather, being blamed for five deaths and one injury with only one injury being attributed to thunderstorms.

In case of the possibility of actual severe weather in the state on the test date, an alternate date has been established for March 13.

SEMA officials encourage all residents of the state to maintain basic knowledge of severe weather safety rules and asks citizens to use the test date to practice these rules, such as where to go and what to do in case of a tornado.

In case of a tornado, SEMA recommends to head to the basement of your residence or the lowest level of the home. Avoid windows and chimneys and hide under furniture, a stairwell or in a small room or closet while making every effort to protect your head. Motorists are encouraged to abandon their vehicle and seek shelter in the nearest building, ditch or depression, while mobile home residents are encouraged to do the same.

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