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Northwest Missouri State University


News Release

March 14, 2016

Northwest to participate in statewide tornado drill Thursday

Helpful tips during severe weather

  • 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 another 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 annual statewide tornado drill at 1:30 p.m. Thursday, March 17, as part of Missouri Severe Weather Awareness Week, March 14-18.

Northwest encourages campus-wide participation in the drill, and instructors are encouraged to take a few minutes during their classes to discuss preparedness and shelter locations in their buildings. The statewide drill is expected to last about 15 minutes.

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.

In addition to the statewide drill, Northwest tests its warning system at 11 a.m. each Wednesday, weather permitting. Any deployment of the warning system outside of that time should be considered an actual emergency and immediate action should be taken. 

Severe Weather Awareness Week is an annual effort by the National Weather Service, SEMA and Missouri’s local emergency managers to help Missourians prepare for dangerous tornadoes, severe storms, lightning and flooding. Last year was an especially deadly year for flash flooding in Missouri, with the same number of  flooding deaths in Missouri reported by the National Weather Service last year (27) as in the previous eight years combined. According to the weather service, 23 of the people who were killed had been in vehicles.   

Missouri’s Stormaware.mo.gov website includes detailed videos showing how to take shelter in specific types of buildings – such as houses with and without basements, mobile homes and schools – as well as 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, Communication Manager
mhorn@nwmissouri.edu | 660.562.1704 | Fax: 660.562.1900

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