City to test sirens during statewide tornado drill today

Mar. 6—The city of Joplin will test its tornado sirens at 11 a.m. Wednesday when the State Emergency Management Agency and the National Weather Service conduct a statewide tornado drill. The sirens will run for three minutes — the same as in an actual warning.

City officials said schools, residents and businesses are encouraged to participate in the drill.

According to a statement from the city, "Residents should treat the drill as if it were an actual tornado warning. The drill aims to test everyone's readiness for life-threatening severe weather events such as tornadoes, flash floods and damaging winds. Local officials are encouraged to sound warning sirens to initiate the drill."

The National Weather Service will issue a test on its NOAA weather radios to initiate the drill. Outdoor warning sirens also will sound across participating communities in Missouri.

March 4-8 is Severe Weather Preparedness Week.

David Holden, emergency management director, said in a statement: "The sirens warn anyone out of doors to go indoors, if possible, and take shelter. People indoors cannot always expect to hear the outdoor warning sirens."

Holden encourages residents to use a NOAA weather radio that provides a warning signal when the area is under a watch or a warning.

"The advantage of having a weather radio is that you hear the alerts directly from the National Weather Service and are kept current of the warning status. The phone apps also provide notifications and current information that is helpful during severe weather."

Real-time severe weather information and warnings is also provided at joplinglobe.com.

More information about Severe Weather Preparedness Week can be found at www.weather.gov/ sgf/SevereWeather PreparednessWeek.