Website helps Missourians prepare for tornadoes, severe storms

Monday, April 2, 2012

Missourians will have a new tool to help inform and prepare local residents for severe weather.

The State Emergency Management Agency (SEMA) has announced the launch of a new website,, that includes detailed videos on how to take shelter in specific types of buildings, along with important information about tornado sirens, weather alert radios and links to severe weather texting services that can alert people across the state to upcoming severe weather events.

"We think that Missouri StormAware will be a valuable tool to educate Missourians about the steps they can take to help protect themselves from dangerous, severe weather," said Paul Parmenter, director of SEMA. "We are providing very specific information about the safest places in different types of buildings, pointing out the limitations of tornado sirens that people should be aware of, and directing Missourians to text messaging systems that provide severe storm warnings."

The Missouri StormAware website shows how people can find the safest place to shelter in their home and the steps manufactured home residents should take as soon as they move into their residence. There is also information for sheltering in schools, places of worship and other large venue gathering places.

A video on tornado sirens and how they are used explains that sirens are designed to alert only people who are outdoors and should not be relied upon while indoors. Another video demonstrates the importance of weather alert radios and recommends that every Missouri family have one in their home.

An important feature of the StormAware website allows users to find text messaging services in their area that allows them to get automatic text alerts whenever a severe storm warning is issued in their area. The services, which are not provided by the state of Missouri, are free, but normal text messaging rates will apply.

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