By Assistant Chief Jim Eden
Lee’s Summit Fire Department
Assistant Chief Dan Manley
Lee’s Summit Fire Department
LEE’S SUMMIT, MO— To help you prepare for whatever weather comes our way, March 6-10, 2023, has been designated Severe Weather Awareness Week. If you’re going to live in Missouri, you must be prepared for all kinds of weather, anytime!
On Tuesday, March 7, 2023, at 10:00 a.m. The State Emergency Management Agency and the National Weather Service will conduct a Statewide Tornado Drill. The National Weather Service will activate the NOAA (National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration) All-Hazard Weather Radio to start the drill. Locally the Lee’s Summit Fire Department will announce the exercise over the school and public building weather receivers and send a message to Nixle.com subscribers. The outdoor warning sirens were tested on the scheduled test date last week and will not be activated again for the drill.
All schools, businesses, and residents are encouraged to participate in the exercise by practicing their severe weather and shelter procedures. However, if that’s not possible during the drill, consider participating by simply sheltering in place or discussing sheltering options/plans among co-workers/family members.
The safest shelter location during severe weather is in an interior room without windows on the lowest floor of sturdy structure, preferably in the basement. Do not seek shelter in a cafeteria, gymnasium or other large open room because the roof might collapse
Awareness of the forecast and the potential for rapidly changing weather conditions is essential. Have several forms of severe weather notification that fit your location and lifestyle. Do not depend solely on one method of notification. For example, commercial media and internet services provide information while awake but do little when you are asleep. Outdoor warning sirens warn people outside, not indoors. NOAA All-Hazard Weather Radios provide 24-hour-a-day notification of severe weather at home and work. All-Hazard radios are programmable to your county and alert day or night when severe weather is in your area. Many of these devices have backup battery power and will function during power outages.
There are many places to obtain severe weather safety information. The National Weather Service provides safety tips and educational information about tornadoes, severe thunderstorms, flash flooding, lightning, and the importance of NOAA Weather Radios on its Weather Safety Tips page at: https://www.weather.gov/eax/2023SevereWeatherPreparednessWeek, along with Missouri’s Stormaware.mo.gov website, which includes detailed videos, and http://www.preparemetrokc.org/ for additional emergency preparedness information. For information about local notification and preparedness, contact the Lee’s Summit Fire Department at (816) 969-1300.