This time of year, it’s important to be weather aware. A severe thunderstorm, a tornado, a flood or other weather emergency can change lives. Now is the time to prepare to keep you and your family safe in case of an emergency.
As the storm season begins, residents are encouraged to have a plan for where to seek shelter during severe weather. They should also have an emergency supplies kit packed with bottled water, non-perishable foods, necessary medications, a flashlight, batteries and a first aid kit.
“Another tool that will help community members be prepared for emergencies is an all-hazards NOAA weather alert radio,” said Emergency Manager Keith Stammer. “These programmable radios operate on electricity with battery-backup, and can be programmed to receive information for only the counties and topics of interest to the user.”
Stammer also provided some guidance on sheltering during the COVID-19 public health emergency.
- It’s important to remember to go to a safe room, basement, or storm cellar; If you are in a building with no basement, then get to a small interior room on the lowest level.
- If you’re out and not near your home shelter and are wondering about seeking a community shelter and Covid19 – please go to a shelter. You can wear a mask, use hand sanitizer and practice social distancing.
- Now is the time to prepare a kit: backpack or box of some kind and include clothes, food and a radio with a battery and take it to the place you plan to take shelter.
- Be aware. Pay attention to the weather. Most of the storms in the Joplin area occur between 2 p.m. and 11 p.m.
- Have an emergency kit, have a plan, and be aware and realize when it is time take shelter.
“Generally, it takes approximately ten minutes for individuals to get to their shelter after hearing the warning siren,” said Stammer. “This is why it’s so important to have a plan and a kit already prepared. You’ll want to get to your safe place as quickly as you can.”
More information on preparing for emergencies can be found on the Joplin-Jasper County Office of Emergency Management website.