Tuesday morning you’ll likely hear a tornado siren because Missouri and Illinois are having statewide drills to ensure people are ready in case severe weather hits.
In fact, this entire week is dedicated to severe weather awareness.
If you think back to last spring, it’s easy to see why we should take this seriously. In Missouri in 2017, severe weather brought the state’s first tornado death in five years. State officials report nine people died in flooding and a dozen creeks crested at record levels.
Drills, like the one scheduled for Tuesday, are an opportunity for families to make sure they have a plan. At 10 a.m. in both Missouri and Illinois, people may hear outdoor warning sirens and weather alert radios. That’s when you should practice taking shelter. Missouri Department of Public Safety officials say if a tornado shelter is not available, the next safest option is a windowless basement, or an interior room in the lowest level of a building, like a bathroom.
In some areas who is activating the sirens is changing. A new computerized siren system has been installed in the areas of Belleville, Northwest Fire District, Signal Hill Fire Department, and Villa Hills Fire Department. Activation of the warning system will now be based upon direct notification from the National Weather Service. The alarms can also be activated manually in case a warning needs to be activated but the National Weather Service hasn’t issued one yet.
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