Boone County Preparing for Severe Weather

4 years 6 months 2 weeks ago Tuesday, March 04 2014 Mar 4, 2014 Tuesday, March 04, 2014 6:03:00 PM CST March 04, 2014 in News
By: Andie Lowenstein, KOMU 8 Reporter

COLUMBIA - Boone County conducted tornado drills Tuesday as part of Missouri Severe Weather Awareness Week.

Boone County, the City of Columbia and the University of Missouri participated in siren testing despite the postponement of a statewide tornado drill until Thursday.

Missouri Severe Weather Awareness Week is March 3-7. Missourians are urged to use this week to plan and prepare for how they will react to tornadoes, flash flooding and other severe weather.

"Since Joplin people are much more aware of severe weather and taking it a lot more serious," said Captain Martina Pounds of the Boone County Fire Protection District. "That's really the main thing that we want to stretch when sirens are sounding or when there's a severe weather warning, that's the time to go and seek shelter."

Columbia Public Schools conducted severe weather drills Tuesday. Rock Bridge Elementary School had students file into hallways with low ceilings and no windows. The students were instructed to stay close to the ground with their heads covered.

"The tornado sirens are an early warning system so by the time the tornado sirens sound you should already be prepared, plans should already be in place," said Pounds.

According to Pounds, this is a good time to review emergency procedures and plans. People should know their place of refuge and closest emergency exits, whether at home or at work. She advises people get an emergency kit and stock up on flashlights, enough food and water for at least 72 hours and if possible, a small weather radio.

Pounds said in the case of an emergency it's very important to listen to local media outlets for further instructions.

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