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Northwest Missouri State University


News Release

March 3, 2013

Northwest to participate in statewide tornado drill Tuesday

Helpful tips: 

  • A tornado watch means watch the sky. A tornado may form during a thunderstorm.
  • A tornado warning means seek shelter immediately.
  • An interior room without windows on the lowest floor is the safest shelter location.
  • Do not seek shelter in a cafeteria, gymnasium or other large open room because the roof might collapse. 
  • Immediately leave a mobile home to seek shelter in a nearby building. 
  • Overpasses are not safe. An overpass’ under-the-girder-type construction can cause a dangerous wind tunnel effect.
  • If you are driving, you should stop and take shelter in a nearby building.
  • If you are driving in a rural area, seek shelter in a roadside ditch. Protect yourself from flying debris by covering your head with your arms, a coat or a blanket. Be prepared to move quickly in case the ditch fills with water
  • Never drive into standing water. It can take less than six inches of fast moving water to make a slow moving car float.  Once floating, a vehicle can overturn and sink.  

Northwest Missouri State University, along with the National Weather Service, the Missouri State Emergency Management Agency (SEMA) and local emergency management offices will participate in the 39th annual statewide tornado drill at 1:30 p.m. Tuesday, March 5, as part of Missouri Severe Weather Awareness Week, March 4-8.

“Severe Weather Awareness Week is a perfect opportunity for schools, families and businesses to revisit what they will do if severe weather hits while at school, home or work,” said State Emergency Management Agency Director Donald L. King. “As we all know, tornadoes are a common threat across Missouri, and advance planning and preparation for what you will do when a warning is issued are essential to reacting quickly and sheltering properly.”

When Northwest students and employees hear broadcast drill messages or outdoor warning sirens, they should practice seeking shelter. The safest shelter location is an interior room without windows in the lowest level of a building.

Severe weather procedures are posted prominently in campus offices and throughout each building on the Northwest campus.

The statewide drill is expected to last about 15 minutes. The Bearcat Alert text system also will be tested.

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 site also includes links to free severe weather texting services that can alert people across Missouri to upcoming severe weather.


For more information, please contact:

Mark Hornickel, Media Relations Specialist
mhorn@nwmissouri.edu | 660.562.1704 | Fax: 660.562.1900

Northwest Missouri State University
215 Administration Building | 800 University Drive | Maryville, MO 64468