March 7-11 is severe weather preparedness week in Missouri


A tree fell on a pool in St. Louis County in storm damage Monday, Aug. 10, 2020.

It’s severe weather preparedness week in Missouri.

On Dec. 10, 2021, severe storms and six confirmed tornadoes in Missouri killed two people and destroyed or damaged hundreds of homes and buildings, including 20 large transmission towers and lines that move power between Missouri and Arkansas. The storm system serves as another reminder that deadly tornadoes can strike any time of year.

To prepare, the National Weather Service, State Emergency Management Agency and local emergency managers encourage Missourians to learn more about severe weather and how to protect themselves during Missouri Severe Weather Preparedness Week, now through March 11. The annual statewide tornado drill will be held Tuesday, March 8 at 10 a.m.

“Although many Missourians associate severe weather with the spring and summer months, there is no tornado season,” State Emergency Management Agency Director Jim Remillard said. “Dangerous and sometimes deadly tornadoes, thunderstorms and flooding can happen year-round. That’s why it’s incredibly important to have an emergency plan in place and talk to your family about when to take action before severe weather strikes your area.”

At 10 a.m. on the day of the tornado drill, NOAA Weather Radios set to receive the routine weekly tests will alert listeners that the tornado drill has begun. Outdoor warning sirens will also sound across participating Missouri communities. At that time, participants should practice taking cover in their designated shelter.

Schools, businesses and families are all encouraged to participate in the statewide tornado drill. Educators are encouraged to use the tornado drill as an opportunity to include tornado facts, meteorological information and safety tips into their lesson plans.

NWS provides safety tips and educational information about tornadoes, severe thunderstorms, flash flooding, lightning and the importance of NOAA Weather Radios on its Severe Weather Awareness Week page: Each day during the week focuses on a different safety message:

  • Monday, March 1 – Receive Weather Information Day
  • Tuesday, March 2 – Tornado Safety Day
  • Wednesday, March 3 – Lightning Safety Day
  • Thursday, March 4 – Hail/Wind Safety Day
  • Friday, March 5 – Flood Safety Day

More information can be found on Missouri’s website, which includes detailed videos about how to take shelter from tornadoes in specific locations, how to avoid flash flooding dangers and useful information about tornado sirens and weather alert radios. Missourians are also encouraged to utilize Missouri’s Ready in 3 Program to create a plan, prepare a kit, and listen for information regarding severe weather emergencies: