Tornado sirens tested in Missouri ahead of spring and impending warm weather
COLUMBIA, Mo. (KMIZ)
The annual statewide tornado drill in Missouri was on Tuesday, with Boone and Cole counties testing their outdoor emergency sirens.
The sound of sirens lasted for three minutes. Starting at 10 a.m., the severe weather sirens were tested to make sure they are in working order ahead of the changing season.
Cole County Emergency Management Director Nick Tietsort said with the changing season and weather starting to warm up, Mid-Missouri is at a higher risk for severe weather.
"It's very easy to get caught up in the moment," Tietsort said. "We want to make sure the public understands that it's time to seek shelter as soon as those outdoor sirens get activated."
Tietsort said there are two siren tones in Cole County. One is a practice one, and another is the real emergency tone. According to Tietsort, the real emergency one is used during this once-a-year test, unlike the siren they hear once a month during the normal testing.
"Having this day as a state wide tornado drill day, gives us the opportunity although we do regular tests, to test the sirens and remind people what the siren sounds like when it's not a test," he said.
Tietsort stressed when those sirens go off, it is crucial to seek shelter immediately because storms can change at a moments notice.
According to the Boone County government website, sirens can be heard up to roughly a half mile, depending on the conditions of the weather and atmosphere outside.
According to the county's website, once inside, you should turn on a radio or television to get updates as to what is going on by your local media outlets.
"Get into your basement or low lying areas," Tietsort said. "Also an interior room of a home if you don't have a basement, somewhere that doesn't have windows."
He also said a car is a safe place from flying debris, and to stay inside it unless there is growing danger that is immediately threatening you.
Tietsort said there were no malfunctions of sirens in Cole county. Boone County Joint Communications said the same.