ST. LOUIS — St. Louis emergency management teams were tracking the storm system that hit Tennessee late Monday into early Tuesday, as initial forecasts called for a trajectory that included Missouri.
"It's one of the best partnerships that we have," Sarah Gamblin-Luig said of St. Louis Emergency Management's relationship with the National Weather Service. "They are constantly looking for ways to improve the products and the ways that they work with us."
Hours after tornadoes touched down in Tennessee, Missouri authorities launched their own outdoor sirens as part of a statewide tornado drill.
"You may hear it inside, but it is intended to be heard by those outdoors when a tornado warning is in effect," Gamblin-Luig said.
Gamblin-Luig said the city has 60 sirens set up around St. Louis — many located at fire departments — but they're not designed to be heard indoors, which is where many people were when the Tennessee tornadoes touched down after midnight.
"Anytime we see devastating incidents like what we saw happen in Nashville overnight, obviously as emergency managers, we pay attention to that," she said. "We work closely with our colleagues in other cities, and our first priority is the safety of the community that we serve."
To better reach people when they're indoors, the city launched Notify STL in December. Residents can sign up for text, email, and other alerts online, as well as download an app. Gamblin-Luig said residents should always keep a weather radio in their homes, too.
"The time span that we are able to have advanced notice now is much different than it used to be, so we are fortunate for that," she said.
More more information, visit the Notify STL website.