Severe weather preparedness week coming up

In April 2023, an EF-2 tornado swept through Bollinger County, Missouri, devastating a community and claiming the lives of five people. In July, two more people were killed in separate incidents after massive trees uprooted by a severe storm in the St. Louis area fell onto a house and a car. That same month, another individual was killed when a tree crushed a camper during a round of severe storms in southwest Missouri. These tragedies all serve as reminders of the importance of being prepared for severe weather anytime, anywhere, and that it’s not just tornadoes that can prove deadly. To encourage Missourians to prepare for severe weather and learn how to protect themselves, the National Weather Service, SEMA and local emergency managers will observe Severe Weather Preparedness Week March 4 – 8, 2024. Missouri’s annual statewide tornado drill will also be held on Wednesday, March 6 at 11 a.m. as part of the week’s preparedness activities. Some Missouri communities may choose to conduct the drill on a different day due to conflicting local events. At 11 a.m. on the day of the tornado drill, NOAA Weather Radios set to receive the Routine Weekly Tests (RWTs) will alert listeners that the tornado drill has begun. Outdoor warning sirens will also sound across participating Missouri communities. At that time, participants should practice taking cover in a designated shelter area or an interior room on the lowest level of a secure structure.