Missourians Urged to be "Storm Aware"

Tuesday, March 11, 2014

ST. LOUIS - Although it may not feel like it yet, spring is just around the corner, and with it comes another set of weather challenges. That's why emergency officials want Missourians to set aside some time this week to prepare.

According to Jim Kramper, warning coordination meteorologist for the National Weather Service's St. Louis office, while this winter has been a tough one, Missourians need to remember that spring thunderstorms lie ahead.

"You're living in a very active weather area, especially when it comes to spring and summer, severe thunderstorms, and of course it is severe thunderstorms that can produce a lot of problems: damaging wind gusts, large hail, and of course tornadoes,"he pointed out.

The annual statewide tornado drill was originally scheduled to take place today but has been postponed to this Thursday, March 6, at 1.30 p.m. Tornado sirens will be activated across the state and Missourians are urged to practice their sheltering procedures. More information is at StormAware.MO.Gov.

Kramper said there is no way to predict how severe the tornado season is going to be, but that it is clear that the people of Missouri are getting the message that preparedness pays off.

"We've had some rather large tornadoes move through the St. Louis metropolitan area over the last couple years," he recalled. "We've had virtually a handful of injuries. No deaths; that is absolutely remarkable. "

Kramper reminded Missourians that the safest shelter location is a basement or an interior room without windows on the lowest level of a building.

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