Tornado sirens signal Severe Weather Awareness Week

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COLUMBIA – With Severe Weather Awareness Week in full force, Missouri performed a statewide tornado drill Thursday.

The statewide drill was originally scheduled for Tuesday, March 15, but the possibility of severe weather pushed the drill to Thursday, March 17.

The drill began shortly after 1:30 in the afternoon and lasted about three minutes.

The Deputy Director of Boone County Emergency Management, Tom Hurley, said this it to help everyone get prepared for severe weather season.

“It gives people the opportunity to test their plans with their local businesses, community, and families.”

During the drill, all 76 of Boone County’s tornado drills responded how they were expected to, according to Hurley.

On March 10 a siren mistakenly went off in the middle of the night. Hurley said that was a mechanical issue, and that all sirens are operating efficiently.

“It is a very rare occurrence and was dealt with very quickly and were able to identify the problem within just a few moments,” Hurley said.

“These tests are a reminder of how we should react when we receive information of threatening weather,” Joint Communications Center Supervisor Chuck Mastalski said.

Mastalski activates the sirens, and has for about 25 years. He said these drills not only help keep citizens prepared but also keeps those working in joint communications alert and mindful of what could potentially happen.

Severe Weather Awareness Week continues until Friday.