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Ways to prepare yourself against tornadoes, dangerous storms

The State Emergency Management Agency reminds Missourians to prepare for severe weather and learn what to do in case of a tornado.
Credit: KSDK

MISSOURI, USA — The State Emergency Management Agency (SEMA) of Missouri reminds businesses, homeowners, and families to prepare for unstable weather in March and provides insight into what should be done if dangerous weather or a tornado break-out in our region. 

According to a press release from the agency in late February, “To prepare and encourage Missourians to learn more about severe weather and how to protect themselves, the National Weather Service, SEMA and local emergency managers will observe Severe Weather Preparedness Week March 6-10."

Each day will center around a different safety tip:

  • Monday, March 6 – Receive Weather Information Day.
  • Tuesday, March 7 – Tornado Safety Day. 
  • Wednesday, March 8 – Lightning Safety Day. 
  • Thursday, March 9 – Hail and Wind Safety Day.
  • Friday, March 10 – Flood Safety Day. 

In addition, the statewide tornado drill that is completed each year will be held on Tuesday morning, March 7.

Be aware that outdoor warning sirens will sound across several state areas, during which everyone should practice “taking cover” in an area in your home, business, school or work that provides protection and safety.

Everyone is encouraged to participate, according to the release. For example, teachers can talk to their students about facts related to tornadoes, severe weather, and safety in the classroom during the drill.

Other tips from SEMA:

  1. Stay up to date on local forecasts. To view 5 On Your Side’s severe weather coverage, click here. 
  2. Design a plan for you and your family to execute when a dangerous weather situation arises in your community. Include your pets and elderly family members when packing an emergency kit and stocking up on supplies, according to SEMA.
  3. Have a household gathering to discuss the plan before the storm hits. To create your own preparation kit, click here.
  4. Plan to meet in an interior room without windows such as a basement. If you're at work, then do not seek go to a cafeteria, gym, or another large open space, according to SEMA.  
  5. Know the difference between a tornado warning and a tornado watch. “A tornado warning means seek shelter immediately because a tornado has been sighted and indicated by radar causing imminent danger to life and property,” according to the release. “A tornado watch means tornadoes are possible in the area. Therefore, it's important to be ready to act quickly if it becomes necessary." 
  6. Avoid driving your car and if you do, then do not drive into standing water.  

For more information about safety tips and facts about tornadoes, severe thunderstorms, flash flooding, and lightning, visit the Several Weather Awareness Week online resources. Also, more details can be found here, which includes videos on how to stay safe. 

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