SATURDAY, MARCH 3, 2018
The large auditorium at Crown Pointe Church, Lee’s Summit, MO is filled early on a Saturday morning. This year the Severe Weather Symposium has a stronger impact after last year’s tornado which struck Oak Grove and unincorporated Jackson County on March 6. In 2017, Missourians witnessed devastating severe weather. With this in mind, local and regional weather experts teamed together to provide the community with the most current weather safety tips and resources.
Jackson County Emergency Manager, Mike Curry greeted the crowd. “This year we have heavy hearts with the upcoming severe weather season. Last year as many of you know or lived through, a severe weather event yourself. This is why training and preparing for an emergency is so important. You never know if you or a loved one will be affected.”
Severe weather can happen anytime and anywhere. Being prepared can reduce fear and anxiety. People can also reduce the impact of a disaster by preparing (flood proofing, elevating a home or moving a home out of harm’s way, and securing items that could shake loose in an earthquake). By having a plan in place before severe weather occurs, the danger can be possibly completely avoided.
Bryan Busby from KMBC News 9 asked “How many of you are familiar with a microburst?” Microbursts are found in strong thunderstorms, they are a small but strong downdraft that moves in a way opposite of a tornado. Microbursts can cause extensive damage at the surface, and in some instances, can be life-threatening. “If you see a scary looking cloud that looks like a tornado funnel it doesn’t mean it’s a tornado, but it could be a microburst. A microburst can cause just as much damage as a tornado and can be very dangerous.” Wind speeds in a microburst can reach up to 100 mph or higher; which is the equivalent to an EF-1 tornado. Severe weather sirens will sound in the event of a microburst, it is very important to take shelter if you hear any serve weather warning.
“In 2017, Missourians witnessed the deadly and destructive power of both tornadoes and flash flooding and the absolute importance of preparedness,” National Weather Service Meteorologist Linda Gilbert said. “Almost half of Missouri counties were included in the federal disaster declaration for the spring flooding and severe storms. That’s a reminder of how important it is to know how to protect yourself and your family from flooding, tornadoes, and lightning, no matter where you live.”
The Missouri Severe Weather Awareness Week is March 4th to 10th. The National Weather Service, State Emergency Management Agency and local emergency managers urge Missourians to learn about severe weather and how to protect themselves during Missouri Severe Weather Awareness Week. Missouri’s annual Statewide Tornado Drill will be held Tuesday, March 6 at 10 a.m.
For information and safety tips visit Jackson Emergency Manager.