Heed the tornado warning alert
March 02, 2007
What does hearing an outdoor warning siren mean? First and foremost it means seek shelter immediately.

According to the Joplin Emergency Management Office, outdoor warning sirens will be activated when the National Weather Service reports a storm system approaching Joplin which produces sustained winds of 75 mph or greater or issues a tornado warning for Jasper County, Newton County and/or Cherokee County, KS with a storm path including the city of Joplin. The sirens also will be activated after having received a report from a trained spotter of a funnel or tornado sighted in or approaching Joplin.

The siren consists of a steady tone for a duration of three to five minutes. The sirens will NOT sound an “all clear” signal.

A Statewide Severe Weather Tornado Drill will be conducted at 1:30 p.m. on Tuesday, March 13, 2007. An alert will be sounded over the NOAA Weather Warning System, by Missouri broadcasters supporting the Emergency Alert System and through activation of the outdoor warning sirens. The drill will take 15 minutes to perform. Citizens are asked to participate in the drill by seeking shelter. In case of severe weather conditions on the 13th, the drill will be re-scheduled for Thursday, March 15.

Beginning March 5, 2007, siren testing will be done every Monday morning (weather permitting) at 10 a.m. This testing will be for one minute and will NOT be conducted when threatening weather is in the area or when temperatures are below 50 degrees.

“The sirens provide a warning for anyone who is out of doors to go indoors, if possible, and take shelter,” Keith Stammer, emergency management director, said. “People indoors cannot always expect to hear the outdoor warning sirens.”

Stammer encourages residents to utilize a NOAA Weather Radio that provides a warning signal when the area is under a watch or a warning. “The advantage of having a weather radio," he said "is that you hear the alerts directly from the National Weather Service, and are kept current of the warning status.” Weather radios, that are programmable to local areas, are available at local retailers and are priced at approximately $30.

Here's some important safety information:

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