March 3, 2005

Sirens To Sound For Statewide Severe Weather Drill March 15

The State Emergency Management Agency (SEMA) and the National Weather Service (NWS) will conduct the Statewide Severe Weather Tornado Drill at 1:30 p.m., Tuesday, March 15, 2005. Every school, citizen and business is encouraged to participate in the drill by practicing seeking secure, safe shelter from a “tornado”.

The drill takes less than 15 minutes to perform. Once the severe weather announcement is made, citizens are asked to seek shelter in the lowest level (basement if possible) interior room away from windows.

Schools and businesses might seek shelter in basements, hallways or under staircases. The drill also highlights the importance of accounting for everyone in your home, class or office.

The NWS Pleasant Hill, Springfield, St. Louis, Paducah and Memphis offices will send out the severe weather drill code. If Missouri is experiencing statewide severe weather conditions, the National Weather Service will hold the statewide drill on the backup date, Thursday, March 17, 2005.

Here are some terms every citizen should be aware of:

Tornado WATCH means watch the sky!

Tornado WARNING means seek shelter immediately.

SHELTER — if you are at home, school or work, go immediately to an interior room with NO windows on the lowest possible floor. If you are at school or work DO NOT GO to a cafeteria, gymnasium or large interior open space because the roof might collapse. If you are in a mobile home, leave it immediately — seek shelter in a nearby building or in a ditch. If you are driving, take shelter in a nearby building, in a ditch or low-lying area away from your car. If you are outside, remember to cover your head with your arms, coat or blanket to protect yourself from flying debris. Never try to out drive a tornado.

A Flash Flood WATCH is issued when rainfall is to be heavy enough to produce flash flooding.

A Flash Flood WARNING is issued when flash flooding is imminent or already in progress. If you are in its path, move to higher ground immediately.

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