CENTRAL JACKSON COUNTY, Mo. – The Central Jackson County Emergency Management Agency (CJCEMA) in conjunction with the State Emergency Management Agency and the National Weather Service in Pleasant Hill will conduct a statewide tornado drill on Tuesday, March 5, 2013 at 1:30 p.m. In the event of inclement weather on the day of the exercise, the drill will be conducted on Thursday, March 7th at 1:30 p.m.
“We encourage all schools, businesses and residents to participate in the exercise by practicing their severe weather and shelter procedures during Tuesday’s test our outdoor warning sirens,” said Todd Farley CJCEMA emergency manager. “As we all know, tornadoes are one of the most common threats here in Missouri and practicing plans in advance can make all of the difference during an actual event.”
The safest shelter location is in the lowest level of the building in an interior room without windows. Other school or business safe locations are basements, hallways without windows, under staircases and designated tornado safe rooms. The drill is complete once everyone is accounted for in the designated shelter.
There are a couple of important pieces of information the CJCEMA would like its residents and visitors to keep in mind:
First – Outdoor warning sirens are only meant to be heard outside. Unfortunately, they are not designed to be heard when inside your home or business. They were developed to allow early warning to those people outside at sporting events or working in their yard, etc. If you cannot hear the siren from inside your house or business, that doesn’t mean it doesn’t work.
Second – There are two tools to use to insure you receive as much up to date and accurate weather information as possible. The weather radios sold in local retail outlets receive broadcasts directly from the National Weather Service and can be programmed to alert in a specific county or region. Additionally, the television weather stations receive and give information as quickly as possible. For more information on weather radios, visit www.preparemetrokc.org.
Residents in the CJCEMA region can also sign up for CodeRED Emergency Notification & Weather Warning System. This system allows us to notify residents of emergency situations that require immediate action. The Weather Warning System is a severe weather early warning service that will call your contact number and deliver an alert message shortly after a warning is issued by the National Weather Service for your area. To sign up, visit www.bluespringsgov.com/codered or www.cjcfpd.org and click on the upper right hand corner of the page. You can also sign up by calling the CodeRED hotline at (816) 220-2633.
Third – There is a distinct and important difference between “watch” and “warning” A watch (thunderstorm, flood, or tornado) means that conditions are right for the event and individuals should remain aware of the potential. A warning indicates that the event is imminent or a tornado has been sighted in or around the area. The “WATCH” and “WARNING” advisories are passed to local radio and television stations and broadcast over local NOAA Weather Radio stations serving the warned areas. These warnings are also relayed to local emergency management and public safety officials who can activate local warning systems to alert communities.
Missouri’s Stormaware.mo.gov website includes detailed videos showing how to take shelter in specific types of buildings—houses with and without basements, mobile homes, schools—and important information about tornado sirens and weather alert radios.
The CJCEMA is an emergency management agency consisting of the Central Jackson County Fire Protection District, the City of Blue Springs, Grain Valley, Lake Tapawingo and surrounding unincorporated areas. The EOC is located at the Central Jackson County Fire Protection District’s Training Facility and brings together representatives from Police, Fire, Public Works and Emergency Management agencies.
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